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The days of Jeanne d'Arc / 




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THE DAYS 
OF JEANNE D'ARC 



THE DAYS 
OF JEANNE DARC 



BY 



MARY HARTWELL CATHERWOOD 

AUTHOR OF "THE ROMANCE OF DOLLARD " 
"THE WHITE ISLANDER," ETC. 




NEW YORK 
THE CENTURY CO. 
189;' 



Copyright, 1897, 
By The CBNTTrBT Co. 



The De Vinne Press. 



THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED 

TO A MUCH-LOVED FRENCH-AMERICAN WOMAN 

MRS. CHARLES HENROTIN 



PREFACE 




HIS book is the outcome of many months' 
patient study and collection of material 
in America; the revisal and rejection of 
much of this in Paris ; of journeys over 
the Maid's country and her path from Domremy to 
Kouen, in voitures, on foot, in carts; of a careful 
study of the fifteenth century ; and, at the risk of mov- 
ing a smile, I will confess it is the result of a divine 
hint. 

Too much stress cannot be laid on geographical 
correctness in the setting of any historical story. 

More than two thousand books have been written 
about Jeanne d'Arc, many beiag mere repetitions of 
previous books. The list of these works makes a for- 
midable volume. She is almost the only human being 
who grows more admirable and wonderful the nearer 
you come to the truth about her. Occasionally you 
will hear a reader exclaim, like the courtiers at Bourges, 
"Jeanne d'Arc!— I am sick of her!" But the ma- 
jority of the world go on from generation to generar 
tion imitating the troops of France, who form in front 
of the stone shed where she was born and present arms 
to her before they pass by. 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 




LL France was lighted by an early rising 
moon, and the village of Bnry-la-C6te, 
seated on a high ridge, seemed to glitter 
just beneath the sky. There was frost on 
the sqiiare, low church tower, on tight-shut windows, 
and on the manure-heaps carefully raked into place 
beside the doors, and held by stone barriers to mellow 
for the spring fields. 

It was a cold night even for January. Durand 
Laxart decided, as he unchained his horse, to let the 
cart stand outside the archway, and lead the poor 
beast directly into its snug stable in the end of the 
house. 

He came out again into the moonlight and walked 
around the muck-barrier to his own door. He Avas 
proud of his new house. It had an ogival portal, and 
above the little window was an ornament in stone 
shaped like a clover-leaf. But no light shone through 



2 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ABC 

this window, for a long, dark passage led to the inner 
room, where his wife and new-born child lay asleep in 
their cupboard bed. Dorand took ofiE his wooden 
shoes, and carrying them in his hand, tiptoed over 
the hard, white earthen floor. The woman's brown 
peasant face, strangely bleached and refined by mother- 
hood, awed him by its contrast with the coarse wool of 
her bed. The bed doors stood wide open, their clean 
panels shining in the firelight. A whole bundle of 
fagots blazed in the chimney. The white stone mantel, 
shaped somewhat like a penthouse, and the scoured 
hearth flags, brightened the dark room, for there was 
only one window, looking toward the valley of the 
Meuse. 

He scented his supper in an iron pot on a tripod be- 
fore the fire. The table stood near the hearth, holding 
a large knife with which to cut his bread, a wooden 
drinking-cup,'and a flask of red wine ; for in this valley 
of the Meuse contending armies had not trampled down 
the vines. 

The woman and the baby continued to sleep. Du- 
rand slipped on his wooden shoes again, and opened 
a back door into his garden. There was a steep flight 
of stone steps, down which he thumped toward a tile- 
roofed oven. The garden sloped downward, and 
though it had the desolation of winter upon it, his 
eye selected the very spot where he would soon begin 
to dig and plant. Pausing, with his wooden shoes 
wide apart on the slippery descent, he gazed down the 
south-stretching valley, the loveliest valley of the 
"Vosges, streaked with ribbons of stubble left by the 
scanty crops. Plowing and sowing had been irregular 



THE DAYS OF JEANNK D'AEC 3 

work since the English began to trouble France. The 
soil had a whiteness not given to it by winter rime ; 
but in the next villages, hid from him by a shoulder 
of the hill,— Goussaincourt and Greux and Dopiremy, 
—there were black gaps made by raiding Burgnndians. 
The Meuse, in summer almost hid among its marshy 
islands, now spread from bank to bank, showing a line 
of ice along its edges. The course of the Meuse was 
called the march of Lorraine and Champagne, and had 
long been a place of contention between kings of 
France and dukes of Burgundy, lying as it did between 
the two portions of Burgundy. The people of this 
march had no feudal lord between them and the king ; 
they were vassals to the King of France alone. This 
bred a serious and stubborn loyalty, which kept them 
bound to their sovereign, though isolated from him. 
For in that year of grace 1429 the kingdom of France 
had receded before the invading English until its 
northern line lay far below the ancient capital of Paris, 
and included only the provinces of Dauphin^, Langue- 
doc, Bourbonnais, I'Auvergne, Berri, Poitou, Sain- 
tange, Touraine, and Orleans. And some of these 
were crumbling before the incoming tide. All the 
richest provinces and nearly all the seaports were held 
by the Enghsh. To go into France from the march 
of Lorraine at that day meant to traverse a wide coun- 
tiy overrun by aliens. 

The far ridge beyond the Meuse seemed to draw 
near in moonlight. All at once there was a sweet 
clamor of bells drifting from Greux and Domremy^ 
and the church of Bury-la-CSte joined in, chiming the 
angelus. The man pulled at his cap with a gesture of 



4 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

reverence, and slouched into an attitude of devotion. 
He felt constrained to pray, for at the sound of the 
bells his wife's cousin, Jeanne d'Arc, came out of the 
oven-shed with a huge ring of bread in her hands. 
She slipped the ring upon her arm and joined her 
palms, bending her forehead to them. While the 
angelus rang no man could speak a word to little Je- 
hannette. Though she was full of life, Durand some- 
times thought her imnaturally religious for so young 
a creature. But it made her very handy when one 
had sickness in the house. He was better pleased to 
have her take care of his wife than to have his own 
loud-voiced mother continually about. 

As the bells ceased, a faint wailing in the house 
called them. Jeanne put her ring of bread on the 
table, and took up the baby, whUe the mother, roused 
from sleep, answered her husband with yawning re- 
sponses : 

"It is nothing but drowsiness that keeps me abed. 
I shall be up at my spinning by to-morrow." 

"Not to-morrow, Aveline. Isabel Eom6e says we 
may keep Jehannette two weeks more. Let her spin 
for thee. She can spin and sew as well as any maid 
of her age in the Meuse valley." 

"But if I am able to spin, why should n't If A 
man never thinks any woman can get tired of waiting 
on him. Jehannette may like to stu- from the house 
while she stays." Aveline drew her hand down his 
winter-reddened cheek. 

"Lie still yet to-night," he insisted; so she dozed 
agam, while he cut his black bread and emptied the 
pot into his platter. Then he sat down comfortably to 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 5 

his supper. The earthen floor, as hard as rock, had 
been brushed speckless with a broom of soft river- 
grasses. Small joists, crossed by large beams over- 
head, so low that they almost touched his hair when 
he stood up, were rich brown in the firelight. There 
was no candle lighted. Threads of flame wove them- 
selves among the fagot sticks and rushed up the chim- 
ney-back. Jeanne sat with the child's swaddled feet 
toward the blaze, and after blinking at the joists it sunk 
into the stupid content of its kind. Her face was so 
young that this maternal care was like the attitude of 
a child nursing its painted doll. 

Durand poured out his wine, and plunged his fingers 
into his dish. He glanced at the girl, but her eyes 
were on the fire, and suddenly he noticed under them 
the hollows made by weeping. Her face was oval in 
shape, and the outline of the cheek never changed, 
but firelight showed the pallor of dejection. The laced 
bodice of her red peasant dress did not cover the top 
of her neck ; it was white and childlike compared with 
the neck of her cousin in the bed. Her hair was 
twisted into a long knot, but it flew out in halos. The 
hollow between lower lip and chin was deeply indented, 
and her chin was pointed rather than round. ' 

"What ails thee, Jehannette?" inquired Durand, 
with quick sympathy and some dread that she had 
grown tired of waiting on him. 

Jeanne visibly repressed herself. Instead of an- 
swering she inquired of him: 

" Did you see my father in Domremy to-day ? " 

" I saw him ; ha is well." 

" And my mother ? " 



6 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

" Yes ; she is well." 

"AndPierrelo?" 

" Yes ; he sent a kiss for each cheek." 

" Mengette and Jacquemine, you also saw them ? " 

"I saw them all, and they all asked when you 
were coming home ; but Isabel hath promised you to 
us a little longer. It is not so far from Domremy to 
Bury-la-C6te," argued Durand; "not two leagues, 
though they be slow leagues through stiff clay 
across the prairie. Your foot-path along the hills is 
quicker." 

" But it is farther to Vaucouleurs," said Jeanne ; " I 
must go to Vaucouleurs to-morrow." 

" And what would you do at Vaucouleurs * " Du- 
rand's eye twinkled. "Would you go to take back 
what you said at Toul?" 

Jeanne's hazel eyes reflected his image with simple 
candor. 

" No ; I will never take back what I said at Toul." 

" But Bertrand de Poulengy is a fine young fellow. 
I have heard if we knew more about him it would turn 
out he was born in a ch§,teau." 

"He should have learned to speak the truth there. 
He did a wicked thing to take a public oath I had 
given him my word. I had to go to Toul to deny it 
before the magistrate. It was very cruel of Bertrand 
de Poulengy." 

"He wanted thee," chuckled Durand. Nothing 
amuses a man so much as another man's discomfiture 
in courtship. " And thy father and mother, they were 
willing." 

" But I cannot cumber myself with marriage," said 



THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 7 

Jeanne. Her repressed weeping broke out. "Com- 
pare ^ Durand, I must go into France." 

The man paused in his eating, holding the meat be- 
tween his jaws. He had heard of this matter before ; 
but it had not pierced his marrow with that sweetness 
of voice and that cry of necessity. "I must go into 
France!" Jeanne's voice was spoken about in the 
valley. When she called to one at a distance, the bell 
notes expanded, filling the air ; but in talk she spoke 
low. The woman in the cupboard bed was aware only 
of the man's hoarser note. 

" Jehannette, thy father has told me he would drown 
thee with his own hands rather than have thee go away 
with men-at-arms." 

Jeanne put out one palm to stop him. The firelight 
showed her long fingers and compact wrist. Tears 
rushed down her face. 

" My father— my dear father ! I would rather be in 
the fields with him, or by my mother's side spinning, 
than anywhere in France. But I can no longer help 
it. For three years I have been commanded, and now 
I must go." 

" Who commanded thee ? " asked her relative, hold- 
ing a black bit of liver in his fingers. 

" Attend," said Jeanne, in the manner of the peas- 
ants of Domremy. Her childish face stiffened with 
awe. " I was about thirteen when I had a voice from 
God to help me rule myseH. The first time I heard it 
I was very much afraid. It was in my father's garden 
at noon in the summer. I had fasted the day before. 
The voice came from the right hand of the church, 
1 Godfather, friend, or erony. 



8 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC 

and there was a great light with it. Afterward, if I 
was in a wood I heard the voice coming to me. When 
I had heard it three times I knew it was the voice of 
an angel. It has always kept me well, and I under- 
stand perfectly what it says." 

"What does it say?" whispered the man. He 
obeyed habit, and put the bite into his mouth, but 
held it there with the other meat. Old Choux in 
Domremy, Jeanne's nearest neighbor, who was so old 
that people had forgotten his age, was claiming to have 
a voice also. 

"It says,"— she lifted both hands and threw them 
out before her,— " 'Daughter of God, go, go ! I will 
be thine aid.' " 

The baby slept in its bands on her lap. The fagots 
showed that her face was white. Durand ground his 
food and swallowed it with a gulp; he leaned his 
elbows on the table. 

" Pucelle,^ did you see anything in the light ? " 

Jeanne's voice became a thread of sound, one chord, 
on which she vibrated to him : 

"I saw St. Michael; I saw St. Catherine and St. 
Margaret." 

" But how did you know it was St. Michael, or St. 
Catherine and St. Margaret ? " 

" At first I did not know, but St. Michael told me ; 
he said : ' Go into France ; St. Catherine and St. Mar- 
garet wUl aid thee.' I said on my knees : ' How can 
I go? I know nothing of arms.' He answered: 
' Daughter of God, go, go ! I will be thine aid.' " 

Though Durand Lasart had never seen visions, and 
I Maid. 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 9 

his wife Aveline liad never seen visions or heard voices, 
he felt a surging of the blood which seemed to clear 
his brain for new impressions. Jeanne saw that he 
believed in her. The strained whiteness of her face 
became a softer paUor, and she wiped her eyes. 

" Compere, have you not always heard that a woman 
would ruin France, and a maid from the march of 
Lorraine would rise up and save it?" 

Diu-and nodded his head. He had heard this pro- 
phecy aU his life, and it had already become a common 
saying that Isabel of Bavaria, the queen, was that 
woman. 

" The Queen of France is that woman," said Jeanne ; 
" she has demed her own son, and sold us aU to the 
English. Compk-e, myself— I am that maid from the 
march of Lorraine. I was bom for this pm-pose. You 
must take me to Vaucouleurs, to Robert de Baudri- 
court, and ask him to send me into France. I have to 
raise the siege of Orldans and take the Dauphin 
Charles to be crowned at Eheims." 

Diu-and sat staring at her without speaking. He 
poured out a cupful of the thin, sour wine, and drank 
it down. 

She had to raise the siege of Orleans, and take the 
Dauphin Charles to be crowned at Rheims ! 

It was high time the dauphin was crowned at 
Rheims, that ancient city of coronation, where nearly 
every king of France since Clovis had been conse- 
crated. No subject accepted a king until he had been 
crowned at Rheims. The loyal people of Poitiers had 
put a crown upon Charles's head, but his enemies 
laughed at him, and called him the little King of 



10 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

Bourges. And it was high time some power raised 
the siege of Orleans —OrMans, the heart of France, 
the key to the southern provinces, the last stronghold 
of the loyal party. 

News traveled slowly, bnt in those days political 
facts were stamped on a peasant's mind by the horse- 
hoofs of raiders. The Duke of Orleans was a prisoner 
in England. His people, ia their extremity, had ap- 
pealed to his enemy and kinsman, the Duke of ^Bur- 
gundy, to stand betwixt them and the English, and 
make their territory neutral. The Duke of Burgundy 
attempted to do this, but his distrustful allies permitted 
him to protect no French territory except his own. It 
was hard to be the greatest peer of France, the one 
whose right it was to place the king's crown on his 
head and do him first homage, and yet to be con- 
strained by personal revenge to join hands with he- 
reditary foes and invaders. The Duke of Burgundy 
was now sulking in his own domains, and the English 
intrenchments were closing around Orleans. 

" Compare," continued Jeanne, " when I found my 
family would never consent, I started by myself one 
day to go into France; but when I had gone some 
leagues I knew it was no use. I must be sent by the 
Captain of Vaucouleurs ; St. Catherine and St. Mar- 
garet have told me what to do." 

" Do you ever see their faces ! " inquired Durand, 
sinking his voice. 

"I see their faces," spoke Jeanne; "I see them al- 
ways in the same form. I do not know if there is 
anything in the shape of arms or other members 
figured. They are crowned with beautiful crowns, 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKO 11 

very rich and very precious. Of their raiment I can- 
not speak. I know them by the sound of their voices. 
They are sweet and humble. They speak very well 
and in beautiful language, and I understand them 
perfectly." 

It was an age in which supernatural things were 
heard of on every side : but Durand had a well-com- 
pacted body, and lived near the soil; he had never 
troubled himself about spiritual mysteries. This new 
attitude of his mind, when he noticed it, astonished 
him. He did not know why he believed in Jeanne ; 
he felt as if he were in church, and obliged to do what 
he was told to do. The baby slept on her lap, with 
the rapid breathing of infancy. He looked at his little 
child with an emotional puckering of his face, and at 
the larger child holding it. His wife had played with 
Jeanne d'Arc about the spring behind Bermont chapel. 
His wife was now a young matron ; but this other girl, 
of unusual physical growth, had yet an innocence like 
that of a babe. St. Michael, the terrible archangel of 
battles ; St. Catherine, the martyr of Egypt ; and St. 
Margaret, the Greek virgin, might have shown them- 
selves to such a being. 

" But if I take thee to Messire de Baudricourt, Je- 
hannette," Durand objected, " what will Jacques d'Arc 
and Isabel Rom4e say to me ? " 

" They will forgive you." 

" They will say I have made them a poor return for 
the nursing of my wife and child," he continued. 

" If you cannot take me, compare, I must set out by 
myself on foot to-morrow," she responded. 

" No ; that will never do. I must go along." 



12 THE DATS OP JEANNE D'AEC 

Durand sat frowning over his folded arms while he 
deliberated. He glanced toward the cupboard bed, 
and leaned forward to speak between nearly closed 
lips. 

" Attend, Jehannette. When my mother comes in 
to-morrow to help Aveline with the child, we will say 
nothing abont Vanconleurs. They might send word 
to Jacques and Isabel. I wiU say I go again to Dom- 
remy. When you get into the cart they wiU think you 
are going home." 

Jeanne heard this proposed deceit without any an- 
swering smile of caution. 

"I must go, no matter who tries to prevent me. 
They will forgive you, compare, and they will forgive 
me when they understand that I was obliged to go." 

" The horse and the cart and I, we will have to stay 
in Vaucoulenrs overnight. Attend, Jehannette," con- 
tinned Durand, twitching the lid of one of his pleasant 
eyes. " I will say that I may have to go even as far 
as NeufchAteau to-morrow. It is a bad time of the 
year to travel, and I cannot get back the same night." 

As he laid plans to hoodwink his family, Durand's 
big finger traced a map on the table, with the villages 
in their actual position, leaving out the intermediate 
ones which had nothing to do with the matter : Vau- 
coulenrs first, in the north ; then Bury-la-C6te ; Dom- 
remy farther down the valley of the Meuse; and 
farthest south of aU, Neufch&teau. The cunning ex- 
pression on the honest man's face made Jeanne laugh. 
The tears were scarcely dry on her cheeks, but her 
whole figure was elastic with relief. 

" We must tell the truth, compare ; I think Aveline 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 13 

and your mother ouglit to know that we go to Vau- 
couleurs." 

Durand regarded her attentively, and nodded his 
head. "Eh, well; if you think it best, I will teU 
Aveline and my mother. But the next thing to bo 
considered is, where will you stay at night in Vaucou- 
leurs?" 

" I have thought about the wife of Henri Eoyer 
the wheelwright," answered Jeanne. "She was my 
mother's friend when they were both pucelles in 
Vauthon." 

" Her house will be the place for you. Have you 
ever seen her ? " 

" Only once, when she came to Domremy in a new 
cart, before men-at-arms oven-an the country. It was 
before our Catherine died. Aveline and I were not old 
enough to tend the sheep. She gave us all a good wel- 
come to her house." 

" It will do," said Durand, with satisfaction ; " and 
now go to bed, Jehannette, for we must get up early 
to make this journey." 

Drawing the child's clumsy cradle to its place beside 
the cupboard bed, Jeanne tucked the little bundle in, 
and put away the remains of Durand's supper on the 
shelves of a closet beside the chimney. She then 
washed the ware which he had used, and set the cup 
back on the clean table beside the unfinished bottle. 

To reach her bed she was obliged to go out of the 
back door into the garden and enter another room. 
She went without any light except the abundant 
splendor of the moon. It was to a fireless best cham- 
ber, as chill as the walls of a tomb ; but her face laughed 



14 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 

in the closing doorway as she bade her kinsman and 
helper good night. 

"Good night, Jehannette," answered Durand, and 
he poured out another cup of the thin wine, and leaned 
over the dying fagots. " Oh, yes ; I will tell AveUne 
and my mother," he said to himself, rubbing his knee, 
and grinning ; " but I will tell them what I please, and 
it win not be that I go in the direction of Vaucouleurs. 
A man ought to have at least one lie on his conscience 
when he goes to confession. I have recently been too 
good myself." 

It was not the lie which troubled him most all next 
day. 

VaucouIiEURS,— valley of colors,— bmlt on a hillside 
above the Meuse, was a walled town, one of the faith- 
ful little citadels holding out for the Dauphin Charles. 
The river-meadows below are wide, and clouds seem 
always to be leaning on those Vosges hDls, which roll 
in undulating uplands against the sky. The early 
blue twilight of winter had already begun to blur 
leafless thickets on the islands and those ribbons and 
squares of stubble which showed where the valley 
crops had been and the plowman had not, when Du- 
rand Laxart drove his horse between the southern 
gate-towers. Flakes of stiffened mud fell from the 
cart-wheels on the small paving-stones of the principal 
street ; dirty water stood chilled in the stone gutters. 
Vaucouleurs, like other towns, threw its worst out of 
the front door, and saved its best for the garden at 
the back. Crooked and winding sti-eets, so narrow 
that a cart filled them from wall to wall, ascended and 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 15 

descended in every direction. The chateau of the 
Captain of Vaucouleurs was np the height, and its 
battlements and square towers could be seen far down 
the valley. Jeanne had watched it while horse and 
cart plodded over stretches of the white mire into 
which those stony hills dissolved their dust. She still 
looked upward, half muffling her face in her woolen 
wrappings, as Durand stopped in an open square and 
searched for Eoyer's house. 

" They told us at the gate that it faced north— a 
high, narrow house with a yellow door. There it is," 
said he, indicating a door with his whip. He turned 
the horse's head. 

" But I must go first to Messire Robert de Baudri- 
court," said Jeanne. 

" Not without a bite to eat or a fagot to warm by 1 " 

" I am too warm, compare ; I am full of blood. And 
I cannot eat until Messire de Baudricourt has heard 
what I have to tell him." 

"Eh, well," grumbled Durand; "but consider the 
horse. I say nothing ; fasting is good for my soul : 
but the poor beast has no soul to be benefited, and he 
needs stable and provender." 

" Then, compare, let me stand here while you stable 
the horse and take a message to Henri Eoyer's wife. 
I cannot speak to any one before I have spoken to 
Messire de Baudricourt." 

Durand would have descended from the cart, but 
Jeanne let herself lightly down by the iron step. Then 
he rattled across the square, and she stood waiting. 

Some children in wooden shoes made a great noise 
in the street as they ran past with a dog. They looked 



16 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 

at her, but felt too abashed to say good day to a 
stranger who did not appear to see them. Few women 
looked out of the closed windows. Candles began to 
show. 

EoBEKT DE Batideicoukt, the Captain of Vaucou- 
leurs, was sitting at his supper when a soldier came in 
and made salutation. Enjoyment of his fire and cheer- 
ful table never relaxed this portly captain of an isolated 
and dangerous post. The Burgundians were more to 
be dreaded than the Enghsh in his part of the kingdom, 
but matters were growing so bad that everything was 
to be dreaded. 

" News, my man ? " he inquired, with an alert turn 
of the head. 

" There are two peasants at the gate, messire the 
captain. The woman says she has an urgent message 
for you." 

" Troopers are probably out over the valley again. 
Bring her in and let us hear what she has to say." 

He went on hastily with his supper, for arming and 
saddling might be the very next business. At the 
sound of wooden shoes he looked up, and saw a bare- 
headed peasant, abashed and reluctant, leading into the 
room a young maid in a bodice and petticoat of the 
coarse cloth spun and woven in the valley. Her bodice 
was laced up toward her neck. Baudricoui-t noticed 
that her face was white even to the lips. He expected 
to hear of a house sacked and a family slaughtered. 

" Good evening to both," said the captain ; " I hope 
you bring no evil news." 

" No, messire the captain," spoke Jeanne ; " I bring 



THE DATS OF JEANNE D'AEC 17 

yon good news. St. Michael and St. Catherine and St. 
Margaret have sent me to you." 

Baudricourt wheeled around in his chair. In aU his 
military experience he had never had any dealings 
with saints. It was his opinion that the beneficent 
powers, if any existed, had washed their hands of 
France. There was not a more distressed kingdom on 
the face of the earth. The very princes of the blood 
had trampled it in their quarrels. For years a lunatic 
king and a dissolute queen had represented its govern- 
ment. And now that Charles VI was dead, his heir 
the dauphin was disinherited by the treaty of Troyes, 
which bound the queen and the Duke of Burgundy to 
the party of young Henry of England. Paris was the 
capital of invaders. The whole realm was desolated 
by long-continued war. And now Orleans was about 
to f aJl into the hands of the enemy. 

" Who are you ? " inquired Baudricourt, bending his 
eyebrows at Jeanne. Eobert de Baudricourt never 
seemed a clean-shaven man ; he bristled fresh from his 
toilet. 

" I am the maid sent from God.", 

" What 's your name ? " 

"Jeanne d'Ai-cj but in my country they call me 
Jehannette." 

" What de you want ? " 

" I want you, messire, to send me to the Dauphin 
Charles. I have to raise the siege of Orleans, and take 
him to be crowned at Rheims." 

" Stuff and nonsense ! " roared Baudricourt. " Why 
do you come to me with such a tale as this? You 
fellow -with, her, who are you?" 



18 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ABC 

" I am her cousin, messire the captain." 

"Her relative, are you? Has she no father and 
mother?" 

" Yes, messire the captain." 

"Then take her home to them, and tell them to 
give her a good whipping. St. Michael and St. Cathe- 
rine and St. Margaret ! " repeated Baudricourt, cutting 
his bread with a blow. " Go home and spin and mind 
your sheep, and don't come to me with your archangels 
and saints and coronations! TeU her father and 
mother to give her a good whipping ! " 




n 



HE winter air of the conrtyard did not 
cool Dnrand's bnming chagrin at having 
taken a step which brought a young pu- 
celle to such treatment. The peasants of 
the Meuse valley had never learned to cringe to a 
feudal lord, but Robert de Baudricourt represented 
the king among them. Durand took Jeanne by the 
elbow to lead her away. Her father's resentment, 
which had followed him all day, now approached and 
hung over him. Domremy and Vaucouleurs were 
almost the extreme boundaries of his world. He was 
angry; yet nothing kills faith in the unseen like ridicule. 
Durand could see the quaking of Jeanne's figure, 
and hear the indrawing of her breath, as she wept in 
her wrappings. Twilight lingered here when darkness 
lay in the lap of the valley. The soldier who had led 
them into the ch§,teau could also see her going with 
bowed head from Baudricourt's abuse. He looked 
after her with a puzzled snule, but Dnrand's compas- 
sion was like a woman's. 

"Come home to Eoyer's house, pucelle; they are 
ready to give thee good treatment there. I blame 

19 



20 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 

myself for this. Sudi a tTiing sliall never happen to 
thee again." 

While he talked at her side, Jeanne turned to the 
chapel which stood facing Baudricourt's quarters. 
Durand followed her, his shoes clumping on the flags. 
He was afraid Baudricourt woidd send some curt 
envoy after the maid and hale her out, and was glad 
that the open door showed little except a dusky in- 
terior. But when Jeanne saw there was no light, she 
turned and followed some steps which led down into 
a crypt. Durand felt along the wall as he clumsily 
kept on her track, and descended to a corridor which 
ended beside an arched door. The ciypt chapel had 
floor and vaulted ceiling of white stone, and he could 
distinguish small carved faces set like rosettes around 
the supporting pillars. Walls swam in dimness, but 
there was a cup of crimson light on the altar between 
the statues. Jeanne was kneeling before it. That 
was always her way. Aveline had told him that 
Jeanne used to leave her playmates dancing by Ber- 
mont spring, or listening to some delicious tale like 
" The Red Children,"— as red as melted iron,— and slip 
up to Bermont chapel to pray. " And what was there 
in Bermont chapel?" said Aveline. "Nothing but a 
painted wooden image of the Virgin and CMld, the 
Child holding a bird in his hand." 

Durand stood by the door and waited until his 
charge was ready to rise up and come away. As for 
himself, he felt more like swearing than praying. 

They were both silent as they went down hill ; but 
when they reached the square before Royer's house he 
suggested : 



THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 21 

"We must get up early in the morning to start to 
Bury-la-C6te." 

" Yes, you go back, compare ; Aveline expects you ; 
but I have to stay here until Eobert de Baudricourt 
sends me into France." 

" He ■will never do it, Jehannette." 

" Yes, he -will do it ; I must go to him until he does 
do it." 

"You shall not stay here among strangers, to be 
railed at by the Captain of Vaucouleurs j that I -will 
not myself allow." 

" Compare, I have to go into France. Robert de 
Baudricourt will be obliged to send me. St. Catherine 
and St. Margaret hiave told me that." 

"Jehannette, come home; I do not know how to 
face Jacques and Isabel." 

"You must let me be, compere; I cannot tui'u 
back." 

Merely walking in her company seemed to infect 
him again with her visions; every step took him 
farther from Baudricourt's contempt. 

" Royer's wife has a good welcome ready for you ; 
but Jacques d'Arc shaU never say I brought his maid 
here and left her to shift for herself. I am obliged to 
go home, but I wiU come back again in a week." 

" Tell my father," said Jeanne, quickly, " it will be 
no use to follow me." 

"I shall keep myself out of the way of Jacques 
d'Arc till this business is settled." 

" But if Aveline sends him word he wiU surely fol- 
low me." 

" I do not think she will send him word, Jehannette. 



22 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AKC 

My opinion is,"-added Durand, under his breath, " she 
has no word to send." 

In a week Durand Laxart came back to "Vaucouleurs, 
and found Jeanne spinning by the side of Royer's wife. 
The shadows were heavier under her eyes, and the 
oval of her face had grown more wan. 

" She is the best pucelle I ever saw," declared her 
guardian to Durand, after taking him into another 
room and setting food before him. "All day she is 
either spinning with me or on her knees in the chapel." 

" Has she been to messire the captain again 1 " 

" My faith, yes ! And I never thought to stand by 
and hear such railing as he put upon her. But to-day 
he came down here with the priest and a censer, and 
they exorcised her for an evil spirit. Par examp' ! " 
cried Royer's wife ; " did you ever hear of such a thing 
as exorcising a child like that for an evil spirit ! " 

" She is no more under possession than is my bap- 
tized infant," said Durand, with strong disapproval. 

" And that messire the cur6 saw when he bade her 
approach. She fell on her knees, and went so across 
the stone floor, and she laughed in their faces, the dear 
child, at their foolishness." 

" Have you heard whether messire the captain will 
send her into France ? " 

" He says he will not, and he will have her punished 
if she comes up to the chS,teau to trouble him again. 
But my husband has told me a messenger went out 
several days ago to the dauphin at Chinon, giving in- 
formation about her, and asking what shall be done 
with her." 



THE DATS OP JEANNE D'AEC 23 

Dnrand felt his heart sink, for in every Christian 
realm the fate of accused sorcerers was the stake. 

He did not talk much with Jeanne, but sat and 
looked at her silently. The week had changed her. 
She noticed her surroundings less. She was waiting 
with all her body and spirit. Durand felt hurt that 
she did not inquire about the baby ; all the children 
in Domremy and Bury-la-C6te used to hang about her 
petticoat, she took such pleasure iu them. 

Next morning he walked the streets of Vaucouleurs 
instead of going to chat in Royer's shop. Vaucouleurs 
was his great capital He never expected to see any- 
thing finer. The gray-tUed roofs were more venerable 
to him here than the same kind of roofs in Bury-la- 
Cote. There was a white glare from the white soil 
which smote on the eyes even when the sun did not 
shine out. Beyond the western wall he could see the 
Meuse in its meadows, and then the long ridge beyond, 
bearing up sear vineyards which in a month would 
begin to quicken with vines. 

On the terrace of street where Durand clumped 
aimlessly along some public theme fermented. The 
air had a mild and springlike touch, and people came 
out of their houses. He saw through an open window 
half a dozen or more maids sitting close together with 
their little wheels, and caught the names St. Catherine 
and St. Margaret. 

He saw two women with children in their arms meet 
on a comer, and nod white caps, as one of them pointed 
toward Royer's house. 

The street was choked with huge wagons woven of 
unpeeled boughs into the shape of enormous baskets, 



24 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

oblong and rounded, heaped with charred sticks. 
Three horses with bells on their high yokes were 
hitched in a line before each load. The charcoal- 
burners wore bringing in the product of their labor, 
thankful to be within closed gates, safe from wanton 
despoiling. They marched bareheaded beside their 
horses, cracking their whips, each with a bla«k smock 
over his woolens descending almost to his wooden 
shoes. The first man encountered a group in mid- 
street that the touch of a horse's nose did not scatter. 
He shouted warning, but the foremost horse was will- 
ing to halt, and yoke after yoke ceased swaying and 
filling the narrow track with melody. The drivers all 
came up open-mouthed when they had rested a few 
minutes ; for the talk was about raising the siege of 
Orleans, and taking the dauphin to be crowned at 
Rheims, and a maid who wanted to be sent into 
France. 

" She says she must go," declared a mercer, who had 
his shears hanging to his neck by a cord. He also 
was smocked for his labor behind the counter. "I 
never heard anything so strange as a young pucelle 
wanting to leave her family to go where there is so 
much bloodshed." 

"There will be more bloodshed, and one will not 
have to go far to see it," said a man who carried a 
quill behind his ear, and wore instead of the blouse 
or smock a short, close garment called a hardy-coat, 
buttoned its entire length in front. " If the dauphin 
could get soldiers from Scotland, what port is there 
open to land them in?" He moved his large, light 
eyes from face to face. 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 25 

"What pueelle wants to leave her family and go 
into France?" inquired one of the charcoal-burners. 

"It is a young pueelle from Domremy," answered a 
balcer, pushing his white cap awry with the back of 
his hand. " The women in Vaucouleurs say there is 
nothing to be spoken against her. She pays no atten- 
tion to anything but her prayers and her spinning. 
She wants Messire de Baudricourt to send her to the 
dauphin." 

"Is there not an old saying," asked the charcoal- 
burner, " that a maid from the march of Lorraine is 
to save France ? " 

The men all turned as if surprised by an echo. The 
old saying had been many times repeated that week 
in Vaucouleurs. The man in the hardy-coat took the 
quUl from behind his ear, and poised it as if about to 
write his words on the faces of the others. He was a 
distinguished person : he could both read and write. 
Writing legal papers was his business; and though 
among nobles his calling was despised, it gave him 
some authority in a remote place like Vaucouleurs. 
" I believe she is the maid. It wiU be as little as the 
town of Vaucouleurs can do to fit her out for the 
journey." 

"En nom De!" exclaimed a smith, "if the saints 
send her into France, let her go ! Here is the fist that 
wiU shoe her horse free of charge." 

" It is Messire de Baudricourt who will decide that," 
said the mercer ; " but I have good gray Flemish cloth 
on my shelves." 

" There she goes to the chapel crypt again to pray," 
said the baker. Dough stuck to the nail of his point- 



26 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'ARC 

ing finger. " They let her in at the fortress gate for 
that. She goes three times every day." 

They all stood silent, watching Jeanne ascend a 
flight of stone stairs to the winding track by which 
the chateau was reached. Her shrinking, muftted 
figure had already taken on for them a kind of re- 
ligious sanctity. 

As she turned the wall she came face to face with 
a middle-aged knight. He wore no armor except 
a heart-shaped cuirass or breastplate buckled with 
leather straps over the front of his close-fitting habit ; 
a sword hung from his belt. Jeanne held her woolen 
covering by one hand under her chin ; not a bit of her 
hair showed. The face, with its clear eyebrows and 
delicate, round-lipped mouth, was so sweet and deter- 
mined that if he had not taken up its cause before he 
must have been moved to do so now. 

"Pardon, pucelle," said the knight. He put his 
hand on his cap. " I am Jean de Metz, seignior of 
Novelopont, one of Captain de Baudricourt's ofi&cers. 
I know why you are here, and I would willingly help 
you." 

"Messire, everybody in Vaucouleurs knows why I 
am here. I am waiting for Robert de Baudrieourt to 
send me into France. I must reach the dauphin before 
Easter, if I wear off my legs to my knees." 

Her low voice stirred De Metz like a call to arms. 
He stood looking at her with his cap off. His hair, 
betwixt black and gi-ay in color, was cut straight 
around below his ears, and being of a strong growth, 
flared outward. The dazzling light of the uplands 
printed benevolent wrinkles about his eyes. His chin 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D-ABC 27 

£tood forward even when he lowered it toward his 
breast, and it gave force to his smile and words. 

" Pncelle, I will, on my own venture, take you to the 
dauphin. Messire the captain will not forbid that" 

" Messire de Metz, I thank you for your good will ; 
but I must be sent from the governor of my own 
country. Bitterly have I learned that. My counsel 
have bid me to wait"^ 

" And who are your counsel ! " 

" St. Michael and St. Catherine and St Margaret" 

" Do you hear their actual voices, puceUe f " 

"Yes, many, many times. But it is when the church 
beUs ring that they speak to me clearest" 

" But how can you hear voices through a clamor of 
bells?" 

The reticence of one whose dearest secret is touched 
appeared in Jeanne's face. Her eyes pitied Iiitti for 
not undra^tanding. 

"The voices are clearest then," she repeated- "They 
often come among Christians who do not hear or see 
them." 

De Metz had never served in the dissolute rabble of 
Southern soldiers and mercenaries. He thought it 
was his own softness which melted before her. Yet 
he realized aU the enormous force carried by a person 
with one idea. 

"When you go to the dauphin," he offered, "I will 
be your knight, and commander of your party." 

" Messire knight, you have ^ven me comfort ; but 
I have no comfort to send to Bobert de Baudricourt. 
Tell him that my counsel have told me this day the 
French have suffered a defeat near Orleans, and it 



28 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

might have been prevented. And worse will come 
unless I am allowed to do what I am sent to do." 

She made him a peasant's reverence, and went on 
up the hiU ; and he went down, resting his left hand 
on his sword-hilt, and staring at the stony soil. The 
walls made a sheltered reservoir in which air settled 
warm from the sun. 

De Metz passed the staircase which Jeanne had 
ascended, and winding on, he came to a narrow turn 
between houses. A young man whom the knight did 
not know stepped before him there. The young man 
pulled off his cap. If he had not been well dressed in 
a close hardy-coat belted around his hips, and the 
same kind of long cloth trunk-hose and leather shoes 
as De Metz himself wore, the knight might have taken 
him for a bold footpad. Yet at second glance he had 
a handsome young face. He was well made and he 
was blue-eyed, an unusual thing in rugged Lorraine. 

"Messire, I want to speak a word with you," said 
the young man. 

" Speak," responded De Metz. He was at first not 
inclined to stop, but he did stop. 

" Messire, I know you to be the knight of Novelo- 
pont. I am a free-born man. My father has a holding 
of land in NeufchS.teau. Before my time we were 
better than innkeepers. My name is Bertraaid de 
Poulengy. You were talking yonder with a young 
puceUe." 

De Metz glanced backwai-d as if the shadows of 
Jeanne and himself were still standing by the wall. 

" Do you know her ? " he inquired. " I thought she 
was from Domremy village, not Neufch§,teau." 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 29 

"She is from Domremy village, messire. I am 
going to tell you the truth. I was a fool. When the 
raiders came two years ago, and the people were driven 
from Domremy to Neuf chateau, her family lodged with 
us. You may not know it, messire the knight, but 
there is no one like her in the world. She helped my 
mother when we were thronged, and she was so humble 
and so kind that even before they went home again I 
began to think I should die if I could not get her. 
But we were both young, and my father obliged me to 
wait awhile before he made the proposals. Messire, 
her family were willing, but she would not marry at 
all." He hung down his head. 

"Never mind, my lad; never mind. There are 
plenty of maids for wives in the world. This one has 
set her heart on other things." 

" That is not it, messire. I was like a crazy man. 
Some said she was so timid and modest that if I took 
oath she had given me her promise she would not dare 
deny it, and everything would go well after we were 
once married. I thought about it day and night. 
Then I went to her mother, and her mother was so 
tei-rifled by the pucelle's talk about going into France 
that we both thought such a sin might be forgiven. 
So I went to Toul and took oath before a magistrate." 

"My faith, you were a persistent man," said De 
Metz, with contempt. 

"Yes, you wiU find me that," answered Bertrand, 
lifting his head. " Messire, she went to Toul herself, 
and on her oath denied it. It was a hard thing for a 
young pucelle to do. I put that mortification upon 
her. There is no excuse for me. I was a fool to think 



30 THE DAYS OP JEAIfNE D'AEC 

I could get her. Messire, I want to be her squire or 
servant if she is sent to Chinon to the dauphin." 

" Do yon think a man who has perjured himself is 
a fit man to be squire and servant to a good maid ? " 

The boy's appealing eyes took all the sternness out 
of De Metz's question. 

"Messire, if you had ever been— that way, you 
would not judge me at my worst." 

"But if you were in her party you might grow 
worse— that way," suggested the knight. 

" I can never think again, messire, that if she would 
take a husband she would ever look at me. But even 
my father and mother understand I have to go to the 
wars. You are older than I am, messire, and perhaps 
you have wife and children ? " 

" No, I have none," said Jean de Metz. 

" I have taken another oath," said Bertrand, " and 
this oath is a true one. I will follow her if she goes 
to the wars, and take aU. the care of her that a man 
may. She is more than wife and children and friends 
and home to me. Messire, she is religion to me now." 

Though De Metz's experience extended little further 
than Bertrand's, he dimly recognized the cry of that 
age in the boy's declaration. It was the' exalting of a 
virgin, chivalry and religion strangely met. Political 
divisions had resulted from it. Dominican friars, who 
opposed the dogma of the immaculate conception, had 
been expelled from the court of the late king ; while 
Franciscans, who zealously upheld the dogma, became 
identified with the loyal party. The Duke of Bur- 
gundy protected the Dominicans, and they turned 
with him to the English cause. 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ABC 31 

"I will do this mucli, my lad," said De Metz; "I 
will recommend you to messire the captain. But a 
man makes his own reputation in arms. Have you a 
horse ? " 

"Yes; I came here on a horse of my own. My 
father gave me enough to fit me out. There is no 
other child at home." 

" That is hard for your father and mother." 

" But they were willing to let me go." 

" Did you hear of the maid so far down the valley ?" 

" No ; I did not know she was here until I came to 
Vaucouleurs. But her fanuly have been afraid for 
two years that she would go into France." 

The news was spreading, however, as far down the 
valley as Domremy. Dnrand Laxart's wife got down 
from a cart, and took her child from the hands of the 
neighbor who had given her the hft. Her jincle, 
Jacques d'Arc, came from the fagot-stack to meet her. 
He had gentle, dark eyes and a face of lovable keen- 
ness. The winter day was so mild that he had been 
at work bareheaded, and his yellow-ivory skin showed 
hundreds of little cross-lines enmeshing his small 
mouth, which was like his daughter's, with a sweet 
and wistful expression. This look changed to appre- 
hension as he carried Aveline's baby in. 

The house was a shed-shaped stone cottage with the 
roof sloping from a height on one side half-way to the 
ground on the other. At one comer of the low side 
Jeanne's little window looked directly at the church. 
Aveline noticed the church while she followed her 
imcle. The door was partly charred, and there were 



32 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 

patches in the roof. A new low tower replaced the 
high square tower which had been there before the 
Burgnndians swept the valley. 

Aveline's small forehead was drawn with pnzzled 
anxiety, and it tightened as Jacques d'Arc inquired : 

" But where is Jehannette ? " 

She hurried before him into the house, and looked 
about as if she must find the answer there. The 
earthen floor and the stone mantel were white. There 
was a wrought-iron plate to keep the back of the fire- 
place from crumbling with heat, and it glowed rosy 
behind the fagots. Isabel Komde's andirons, which 
were her pride and inheritance,— three feet high, with 
cups at the top for brewing posset, and hooks in front 
for bars, — held the fagots in place and some meat sus- 
pended from a bar roasting for dinner. The father 
had watched Jeanne's head rise year by year and over, 
top these andirons. He remembered more than one 
night when she had slept on the fioor before the great 
guardians of the hearth, giving up the daughter's 
chamber to refugees made houseless by raiders. With 
the self-control of habit, he stooped and turned the meat 
before laying Aveline's precious bundle in her arms. 

" Here is your child ; now where is mine ? " 

" My uncle Jacques, is Jehannette not here at all ? " 
persisted Aveline, turning her head like a hen. 

" How could she be here and also in Bury-la-C6te ? 
We lent her to you," accused Jacques. 

" Did not my husband bring her home more than a 
week ago 7 " 

" She has not been seen in this house since she went 
to nurse you." 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE IVAEC 33 

Aveline began to cry. 

" Then it is true that Dnrand Laxart went to Vau> 
conlenrs the first time as -well as the second time. I 
heard them talking abont Vauconleurs while I was 
asleep, but he told me he was going to Neufch^teau 
and would bring Jehannette home. She herself told 
me nothing. I thought she wanted to see her mother." 

Jacques set his hands in his thin hair. His face 
bleached while she spoke, nostrils and jaw-lines show- 
ing for a moment as in a death's-head. 

" My child has gone into France ! Durand Laxart 
has taken my child to Vauconleurs, and let her go into 
Prance ! " 

He flung the door open, and ran toward the Meuse, 
his wisp-like legs threatening to snap with the weight 
of his wooden shoes. Aveline, rolling in her short 
petticoat, ran after him, holding the baby, and making 
audible noises as her tears increased and her breath 
shortened. 

The ice was gone from the edges of the Meuse, and 
a practised eye might note reviving life in the flat 
islands. Near the bridge was a deep pool, and two 
women had set their box-shaped washing-tables, open 
at one side, in the water's edge, and were kneeling at 
their labor. The sound of their paddles could be 
heard along the valley, as they beat and turned and 
dipped and beat again the coarse, dark woolens of 
their families. One was a large-framed woman ; she 
wore a white cap on her anbum-and-gray head. The 
other was a girl, and though the winter sun shone 
directly in her face, she kneeled bareheaded. She had 
a countenance which seemed to shine with rapturous 



34 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

contentment, and impressed the beholder as purely- 
blonde. It was afterward a surprise to see that her 
hair was black and her skin reaUy dark, and that it 
was only a whiteness of expression. 

" How do you get along, Mengette ? " inquired the 
woman. 

" It is nearly clean now. I wish I could put Choux 
in the river and wash him." 

" He grows fouler as he grows older," remarked the 
woman. " This water, is it not cold for thee ? " 

" No colder for me than for you, godmother Romee," 
answered the girl. A woman kept her own name in 
marriage, and the wife of Jacques d'Arc was always 
called Isabel Romee of Vauthon. 

"But I am hardy. I can cleanse woolens at the 
river when most other women keep the house. I 
would rather spread garments on the bushes when 
snow flies than have them lying foul." 

They heard a cart rolling over the bridge, and looked 
up. It was a stranger's head passing along the para- 
pet. Cart-wheels were not so startling as the sudden 
clatter of horsemen. Every villager lived ready to 
seize his goods and di-ive his flocks for safety up in 
the hills. 

" That was Jehannette's way also," said Mengette ; 
"we have had many a good time bleaching clothes 
together at the river. Her cousin keeps her too long, 
godmother. Why don't you command her home 
again ? " 

"We foolishly promised Durand; but I am going 
to-morrow to see her myself." 

"Are you going in the cart?" 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 35 

" No ; the lads must get more fagots in while this 
weather holds good. I am going by the hiU path." 

" Then let me go with you, godmother. I can set 
Choux's dinner for him on the table, and we can reach 
home by twilight." 

" It will be very good to have you," said Isabel, and 
their paddles brought echoes from the hills opposite. 

" I will ten Aveline that when her little maid grows 
up she will find how hard it is to lend her and doubly 
lend her out of the house. Jehannette must come 
home with us ; it wiU not do any longer." 

She heai'd a noise in the alluvial hoUow, and turned, 
to face Aveline and Jacques and the calamity. 

Isabel struggled to her feet. 

" Where is Jehannette ? " she demanded. 

" I am going to Vaucouleurs," answered Jacques. 

Isabel flew at her husband, and caught, his wrists, 
falling on her knees. She begged him not to teU her 
that her child was gone. Her bare red arms and 
hands, and her face burned by many a day in the 
fields, lost their strength in a moment, and hung on 
the slighter man. Jacques held her against him as 
she kneeled, hushing her cries, and straightening her 
cap, while he formed his lips piteously for an ungiven 
kiss. 

" I am going to Vaucouleurs," he repeated ; " I am 
going to saddle the horse. Pierre and Jacquemine will 
stay here with thee." 

" Oh, Aveline, it is not true that my child has gone 
into France ! You have not let her poison our old age 
and kill us ! We lent her to you in a time of need. 
Give me back my Jehannette ! " 



36 THE DAYS OP JEANNE IVAEC 

Aveline, suffering for her husband's act, hid her face 
from Isabel, and mourned aloud. Mengette helped 
Isabel to stand up, and supported her on one side. 
That serene look which had made Mengette Jeanne's 
favorite did not pass from her face with the dripping 
of tears. The quick and helpful little creature put her 
nervous strength to the mother's sagging body, and 
when the wretched procession was in the house Men- 
gette returned to finish the clothes and carry them 
away to spread. The blow was heavy upon her. 
Mengette had not much in the world which she could 
afford to lose. She was a stepchild of fortune, but 
she had always cheated the sour dame by her own 
temperament, and got the best out of everything. 

Jeanne had slept with her in her own bed, and she 
looked back now at their simple talks about life and 
religion and angels. Neither girl knew that maids 
usually talked more about men than about angels. It 
made Mengette very comfortable to be with Jeanne. 
But lately she knew her friend had gone beyond her. 
She could not herself understand how any maid could 
feel impelled toward war ; and as to being spoken to 
by saints, Mengette prayed that such a thing might 
never happen to her. She could take care of the house 
and her geese, and sew and spin, and tend Choux as 
long as it pleased Heaven to let him last ; but if a saint 
had spoken to her out of the clouds she must have died 
of fright. 

Jacques d'Arc was on his horse galloping to Vau- 
couleurs, and Isabel lay prostrate in the cupboard bed, 
with Aveline to wait on her. The lonely little worker 
kept to her double task at the river. At noon it was 



THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 37 

gi'owing colder, and her heart was heavy. The plea- 
sure of washing in the villages was in the meeting of 
many women, and chattering and laughter and news- 
telling between the thump, thump of the clothes-beater. 

When everything was wrung out she piled the large 
pannier up until it towered over her head, then she 
lifted it to her back, thrusting her arms into the plaited 
handles. Mengette was obliged to steady herself care- 
fully to keep from tipping backward. As she tm^ned 
her face to the ascent she saw Jeanne's two brothers 
coming over the bridge with a cart-load of fagots. 
Oxen drew the cart, moving almost silently between 
parapets where it was impossible to run aside or rebel 
against the head-yoke. The labors which belonged to 
other seasons were done then as men had opportunity 
to do them. Sowing and reaping, tying up vines, 
burning charcoal, and bringing in fuel, had not the 
old regularity. Though the vaUey of the Meuse was 
remote from the track of the invaders, it was the direct 
route between the two portions of Burgundy. And 
there were armed bands gathering in all parts of the 
kingdom, mercenaries who had shaken 'off military 
service and really taken to the trade of robbers. Some 
of them yet wore the badge of the Armagnaes, as the 
dauphin's party was called, and others wore the badge 
of the English. These wolves of war penetrated everj'- 
where. What Domremy had suffered from the Bur- 
gundians was never forgotten. 

Pierre walked ahead of Jacquemine, cracking the 
whip. It was always Pierre and Jacquemine, never 
Jacquemine and Pierre, though Jacquemine was the 
eldest of the family. Jean, the second brother, was 



38 THE DAYS OF JEANNE IVAEC 

already married and settled in his mother's honse at 
Vauthon. He seemed no longer to be of the family, 
for his wife's people had absorbed him; Pierre and 
Jacquemiae were the sons at home. Pierre was a 
large fellow with rich, dark, rosy color, and gray eyes 
that laughed inside their black lashes. He held his 
head back, and his cap usually slipped to one side upon 
it. The girls in Domremy liked him, but he was fonder 
of his sister than of any of them. He was two years 
older than Jeanne, and Jacquemine was four years 
older than he was. Yet he could lift Jacquemine up 
by the girdle and smock; and though Mengette had 
little to complain of in the world, it disturbed her to 
have Pierre do this. The helpless, wrathful look on 
Jacquemine's face as he struck and kicked against the 
indignity aroused her. Jacquemine had always come 
to her to talk about his troubles, which consisted of 
slights put upon him. There seemed to be too little 
of his dai'kly freckled, sandy, and wizened person. 
He wept as easily as a girl, and this wrung Mengette's 
heart and first attracted her protection. A betrothal 
had been arranged between them by the two families 
before her father and mother died, but it was under- 
stood that they were not to marry while Choux lived. 
They would not have enough to support a family with 
Choux also to provide for, though by themselves they 
might be fairly prosperous. Jacquemine's father was 
to give him a field and some cattle. Mengette had a 
house and garden and a flock of geese. She herded 
the geese herself, and exchanged their feathers for 
wool; and being a thrifty maid, gathered her own 
fagots,— for Choux would not work,— and weeded and 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 39 

tied vines in vineyards whenever the chance offered. 
Besides, Mengette had the caps and petticoats her 
mother wore, waiting in a chest until she should need 
them. She had carried them with her when the vil- 
lagers fled to Neufch^teau from the Burgundians. 

Jacquemine sulked across the bridge without seeing 
her until Pierre called down a good day. She made 
a sign for them to halt, and ascended with her load, 
dreading to speak her news, yet obliged to spare Isabel. 
The oxen swayed to one side, the foremost one running 
obstinately down the bank. Pierre had some trouble 
to bring them to a stand beside a wall without up- 
setting the load. Jaequemine waited at the end of the 
bridge until Mengette struggled up to him. He did 
not reach down his hand to her as Pierre would have 
done : for Pierre was always quick to notice when a 
pannier was heavy, and to help a maid, especially his 
sister and Mengette ; but Jaequemine seldom noticed 
anything except his own feelings. He was the kind 
of man that women wait on ; masculine strength was 
not expected in him. 

Jaequemine was stung because she rested the bottom 
of the pannier on the parapet and waited until Pierre 
came back. If Mengette had anything to say, he was 
the person to say it to. This individual resentment 
entered his grief when he heard the news. 

"I always knew Jehannette would disgrace the 
family," he exclaimed, coloring darkly; "if you do 
not want to marry me after this, Mengette, I shall say 
nothing." 

" She has not disgraced the family," retorted Men- 
gette, with heat. "She is better than I am. You 



40 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 

ought to be ashamed of saying she has disgraced the 
fanuly." 

Jaequemine's eyes filled with tears. " You can take 
her part against me if you want to." And he turned 
his back and sobbed. Mengette herself wept again, 
understanding and pardoning his misery. But Pierre 
stood without a sound. He did not hear them, or 
Mengette knew he would have shaken Jacquemine over 
the parapet. Rings of dark hair had been formed 
about his forehead by the heat of walking. He held 
the whip across his shoulder, and stood stunned, taking 
the news into his mind. The long stretch of road and 
meadow and hiU rising toward Neufch§,teau was be- 
hind him. The January sky was soft and gray with 
gathering clouds. One could hear the wind begin to 
sing up in the leafless oak woods where Jeanne used 
to run about with him. 

He spoke out huskily : 

"Does anybody know that she has yet gone into 
France?" 

" No ; but it is certain she has gone as far as Vau- 
couleurs. Aveline says Durand Laxart is in Vaucou- 
leurs now ; and she heard them talking about it. Your 
father is already on the road," repeated Mengette. 

" I am going with my sister," determined Pierre. 

The habit of his life was first to assert itself. Prom 
the time Jeanne was old enough to run in the fields, 
Pierre had run after her and let her dictate the course. 

" Your father told your mother that Jacquemine and 
you would stay with her." 

" Jacquemine can stay, but I am going with my sis- 
ter." 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE B'AEC 41 

" Go, go ! " said Jacquemine, showing an indignant 
face over his shoulder in the act of wiping it with his 
sleeve. " By the time all the family have run off but 
me, my father and mother will find who is really a 
child to them." 

"But, Pierre," pleaded Mengette, "godmother Romee 
is struck down in her bed. If you go now it may be 
the death of her. She said to Aveline, * You have let 
my child poison our old age and kill us.' " 

" Go, Pierre ! " repeated Jacquemine, fiercely ; " I 
can do all the heavy labor, and take care of the family 
and the cattle in case the Burgundians come again. 
Run after the Armagnacs, you and Jehannette." 

" We will," responded Pierre. 

" But wait, Pierrelo, until your father comes back,' 
still pleaded Mengette ; " he may find her and bring 
her home." 

" He will not find her ; he should have sent me." 

" Yes ; he should have sent big Pierre," venomously 
hissed Jacquemine. 

He snatched the whip, and ran clattering on to start 
the oxen. They were not used to his guidance, and 
swayed in a zigzag course from waU to waU, while he 
cracked the whip and let his trouble out in noisy abuse 
of them. Mengette lifted her pannier and trudged 
directly after him. She was a pucelle of spirit, but 
Jacquemine's rages always woke her motherly com- 
passion, like the helpless suffering of a child. She felt 
it necessary to quiet him before he went into the house 
and increased the disapproval which he had long re- 
sented there. 

Pierre sat down on the parapet of the bridge and 



42 THE DATS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

stared at the washing-place, where open-sided box- 
tables and paddles yet remained. The Meuse curled 
about its islands and rippled among the naked bushes. 
He was not sure that it was a calamity which had 
fallen on the family, but it was certainly a grief. To 
be entirely separated from his sister was out of nature 
and not to be endured. He had a vague and careless 
knowledge of Jeanne's visions and of what she intended 
to do if she went into France. Pierre was not spirit- 
ual-minded. He had almost to be flogged to his 
prayers when he was younger. He enjoyed the world ; 
but more than everything else he enjoyed loving. 
Jeanne would draw him after her as certainly as the 
bell-sheep drew the flock. But when he had thought 
awhile he decided not to set out on foot along the hills 
to Vaucouleurs without seeiug his mother, as he would 
be obliged to do if he went at once. He would not 
forsake his mother while she lay prosti-ated by the 
loss of Jeanne. But he had a conviction that his 
father would never bring Jeanne back. 

And when Jacques d'Ai'C reached Vaucouleurs he 
did not find his daughter. He was the last man to 
enter the gates that night, haggard and splashed with 
hard riding ; but a strange experience met him there. 
He had scarcely mentioned the maid he was seeking 
when a lantern was lifted by a passer-by, and men 
came together in a bunch like bees to hum about her. 
She was as well known in Vaucouleurs as the captain 
there. They escorted him like a guard of honor to 
Royer's house. 

" Here is the father of the maid," they said to Royer's 
wife, when they had struck on the door and she opened 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 43 

it. " We have told him that she has gone to Nancy 
with her cousin and the knight of Novelopont, being 
sent for by the sick Duke of Lorraine." 

Jacques leaned his head on his hands and listened 
to Royer's wife when he was in the house. It was 
plain that the people in this part of the country be- 
lieved Jeanne ought to go into France. 

"But she shall come home," said Jacques, feeling 
the tightness at his heart relax, since she was gone in 
the opposite direction, and he might yet intercept her. 
"She is my little maid. As to raising sieges and 
crowning the dauphin, we have a hearth for her in 
Domremy, and she was always contented there until 
these troubles grew so bad. Her mother is struck 
down in bed on account of her. If the saints sent her 
into France, I wiU say the saints have little regard for 
family ties. We have no other maid : our Catherine 
is dead. From the time Jehannette could clip her 
little hand around one of my fingers, she would toddle 
at one of my legs and Pierrelo at the other. I say she 
shall not go ; and she was always obedient. What ! 
would I let my innocent child go among men-at-ai-ms, 
and be spoken to by any vile follower of the camp ? 
I would kill her before she should suffer such things." 

He waited several days in Vaucouleurs, wrenched 
from his accustomed places, and divided between 
Jeanne and Isabel. The journey was an education to 
a peasant who had never stirred before, except from 
his native village to Domremy, and afterward to Neuf- 
ehS.teau. He felt the pulse of the world, and realized 
the growth of his child. But he was more than ever 
determined not to give her up; and when the strain 



44 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

of liis absence grew unendurable, lie saddled bis horse 
in baste, and said to Royer's wife : 

"I am going back to Isabel, and Pierre will come 
in my place. TeU Jebannette I command her borne 
with her brother. TeU her that I forbid her to go into 
France. The curse of the disobedient will faU on her 
if she goes. My maid is a good maid, and I blame the 
people of Vaucouleurs for encouraging her in this 
strange desire. Her innocent dreams about angels 
and saints, what would they avail her among bloody 
men-at-arms ? Her place is at home with her mother 
and me." 

But before Pierre reached Vaucouleurs the dauphin's 
messenger from Chinon had galloped in, and Jeanne 
had gone. 

Jacques's horse fell lame. He led it and walked, 
stumping among the stones in his sabots, and reaching 
Bury-la-C6te late in the night. There he slept in the 
house of Aveline's mother, and borrowed another 
horse. But the delay made Pierre too late. 

It was a poor, powerless maid who threw herself 
across a bench and cried aloud on her knees when she 
returned from Nancy, and was told that her father 
had been seeking her, and the messenger from Chinon 
was ab'eady there. 

" Oh, my father, my dear father ! How can I en- 
dure not to see my father and mother and |Pierrelo 
again ! But I must go — I must go ! " 

Jeanne ran from the house up the stone stairs lead- 
ing to the chapel crypt. It was her last heartbreak 
before the altar, weeping to be sent, and weeping be- 
cause she must be sent. 



THE DATS OF JEANNE D'AEC 45 

There was excitement both in the chJiteau and the 
town. Nobody in Vaucouleurs ^except Baudricourt 
had doubted that the dauphin would send for the maid. 
Candles burned all night in the shop where her outfit 
was finished, and the people of Vaucouleurs, who bore 
the expense of it, looked in crowds at the busy work- 
men as a public spectacle. 

" The maid is to ride forth in man's apparel," said 
women to one another, in consternation. " She says 
she has been counseled so to do. Is that decent ? " 

" I call it decent myself," decided a dame in authority. 
" What would she do with petticoats astride of a horse, 
riding a hundred and fifty leagues, and having no 
woman of her party ? Even messire the captain had 
nothing to say against it when she begged for the 
habit of a man." 

"Messire de Baudi-icourt has changed his opinion 
of her since the dauphin's messenger came in with 
news of the defeat near Orleans." 

"Yes; they say the maid knew it, and sent him 
word the very day the battle was fought." 

In Vaucouleurs Jeanne was the maid who out of the 
march of Lorraine was to deliver France. She was to 
have a knight and a squire, two common soldiers as 
their servants, an archer, and the dauphin's messenger, 
as her escort. Durand Laxart himself pledged pay- 
ment for a horse. It would be a hard ride to Chinon 
—from this northeast corner of the ancient realm a 
hundred and fifty leagues diagonally southwestward 
across France. The party would have to avoid cities 
held by the English, and slip between marauding bands. 
They had five large rivers to cross. Wherever they 



46 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC 

dared use the old Roman roads good speed could be 
made ; but much of the journey lay across trackless 
spaces full of the dangers of war. 

It was the first Sunday in Lent, and people flocked 
to the chateau early in the morning to see her start. 
The maid had been brought there by Royer's wife and 
other women, to be dressed for her undertaking. 

Every citizen of Vaucouleurs raised his cap in the 
air and cheered as she came out into the court, a sup- 
ple, easily moving ereature with a radiant face, in the 
suit of a man-at-arms, the jacket and tunic of gray 
cloth, the cuirass of leather thongs. Her long hose, 
cut and shaped from the cloth, were laced over her 
body-garment, and strong leather shoes were on her 
feet. The women had cut her hair off about her ears, 
and put the cap of a man-at-arms on her head. 

The horses were standing ready. The men of her 
party waited her mounting. There was nothing male 
about her. Though she looked smaller than in her 
maid's dress, no person said to another, " She is like a 
boy." She was simply the maid dressed to ride like a 
man. 

" What have you there, pucelle ? " inquired Baudri- 
court, meeting her, and taking her packet to fasten 
behind the saddle. 

" My red peasant dress, messire the captain." 

" What would you do with your peasant dress on a 
journey to court ? " 

"Unfold it and look at it sometimes, messire. I 
love what I wore in my home." 

"Let come what may come of this," said Baudri- 
court, " Heaven knows I don't understand these things, 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 47 

or how you should be able to tell me there was a battle 
over some herrings and camp supplies near Orleans 
the very day it was fought. But go your ways, pu- 
celle my friend ; it is no longer my affair." 

" Good-by, messire the captain ; have no fear for me. 
I shaU. be taken care of." 

" If you be not, God he knoweth it will be through 
no f atdt of mine ; for every man in this party hath 
sworn an oath to me to deliver you safely to the 
dauphin." 

Jeanne laughed as she put her hand on the bridle. 
Her squire knelt to take her foot and lift her into the 
saddle. 

*' I am a peasant," she said ; " I do not know any- 
thing about mounting as grand dames mount. Let 
me find a block of stone." Then she looked at the 
squire with sudden scrutiny. 

" Not this man, messire the captain. Has this man 
also taken oath ? " 

" I have," the young man answered, on his knees ; 
" and this oath is a true one, maid of France." 

Jeanne believed him. She had no grudge against 
Bertrand de Poulengy. Her open, bright look ac- 
cepted at once his atonement and their new relations. 
She mounted the horse from the chS,teau steps. Her 
eyes moved gratefully from face to face in the crowd. 
She lifted her cap ; her forehead was white in the sun, 
a girl's smooth forehead, with the hair blowing back 
from it. Men and women felt their hearts swell. 
This tender young being was going out to fight for 
them. It was the strangest thing that had ever hap- 
pened. For a hundred years France had given her 



48 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

sons to war, but now a daughter was demanded — a 
maid was necessary for sacrifice. Jeanne leaned down 
and grasped hand after hand. Women kissed her 
fingers, which had not yet touched anything more 
deadly than needle or spindle. She was their dear 
child, whom they were themselves giving up. 

"Good-by," said Jeanne, looking into her cousin 
Durand's faithful face ; " I am glad you christened the 
baby Catherine. Give my love to them aU— my father, 
my mother, my Pierrelo— " 

She touched the spurs to her horse, and the party 
rode out through the gate, which is called to this day 
the Gate of France. 




Ill 



HOUGH Jacquemine gave Mengette trou- 
ble, the burden of her life was Choux. 
Since the death of her father, Auguste 
Ponlinet, and her mother, Marguerite Val- 
las, she had lived in her house with this relative, whose 
exact kinship could hardly be traced, yet who was 
handed down as a charge. Choux was a humpbacked 
creature, so old that age had given him up and de- 
livered him again to the lithe activities of youth. He 
seemed made of steel springs. His joints and muscles 
did not sag when he walked. The skin was so tightly 
stretched across the bones of his large features that it 
scarcely wrinkled, but, deepening its brown, became 
like mummy husk, with points of fire surviving in the 
lively eyes. "What few shreds of hair he had clung in 
forgotten strands to the skuU ; but these were seldom 
seen, for Choux wore always a red woolen cap tied 
under the chin like a woman's. This was as much a 
part of him as the red sash girdling his clothes around 
the middle. He wore it indoors and out, to mass and 
to bed. When Mengette saw that the cap would have 
to be renewed, she made another, and standing behind 
4 49 



50 THE DAYS OF JEAISOSTE D'ARC 

the bencli while he ate, put it over the one he wore. 
ChoTix let the strings hang down unheeded until he was 
alone. Whatever became of the first cap, whether he 
secretly burned it or buried it in the earth, it was never 
seen again. One pair of clean strings soon appeared 
under his chin, and Mengette drew a breath of relief. 

But it was not so easy to get his garments from his 
body. Choux's instinct was that an animal's covering 
ought to shed naturally. He exhaled a hyena-lLke 
odor, and when on a February day he sat by the 
chimney, Mengette was thankful for its wide throat. 
Domremy was not too sensitive to smells. Chickens 
and geese lived in the streets, and manure-heaps 
ripened beside the front doors. But public comfort 
sometimes demanded that Choux should change his 
clothes ; and the cure, Father Fronte, was then obliged 
to labor with him. In his heart Choux despised the 
offices of the church, but he stood in terror of having 
its final protection denied him. When exhortations 
and threats had availed, Mengette flew to the river 
with his cast-off things. She had once anchored them 
and let them freeze, and as often as she could afford 
it she gave him an entire new outfit. 

Choux had nothing except a high regard for himself, 
and he had not labored in her lifetime. He often sat 
bragging by the hour in the Widow Davide's wine- 
shop. The Widow Davide, when a customer grew 
noisy, would take him by the ear and lead him to the 
door, and it was his part to grin and submit. Choux, 
for more reasons than his tongue, was of tener led out 
than any other man ; yet he never suffered it without 
indignation and astonishment. 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 61 

He danced before the -wine-shop to show his con- 
tempt for the Widow Davide, and made a tube of his 
fists, trumpeting through it. His hump, as he tilted 
and turned, gave him the high-shouldered appearance 
of a hyena. He sang derisively about the wine she 
sold. It was not fit for dogs— dogs would die of it, in 
fact. He could marry the Widow Davide if he wished, 
but who would marry a woman that sold such bad 
wine? 

" Myself," proclaimed Choux, slapping his breast, " I 
was brought up on the best. Nothing is too good for 
me. When I was of an age to marry, all the maids 
of my village wanted me for a husband. I picked the 
handsomest and richest, and when I was mamed my 
wife did nothing but wait on me. She sold the last 
goose of her flock to provide me for travel. I have 
seen the world in my lifetime. I have been eastward 
as far as Nancy, and westward as far as Bar-le-Duc ; 
and if my wife had lived to work for me I might have 
gone farther." 

" He never was married in his life," the listeners told 
one another, laughing. " The Champenois are great 
boasters," was one of the proverbs of Lorraine. Choux 
came out of Champagne. 

He trumpeted through his hands, and danced again, 
making a clatter on the hard road with his wooden 
shoes. " I can whip any man in the wine-shop. And 
this wiU be the case with me until I am ten years older. 
Come out, Widow Davide, and take me again by the 
ear. Have a care; it will not be the Burgundians 
who next time set fire to your house ; the people of 
Domremy are fond of me. I do not hft a hand for 



52 THE DATS OF JEANNE D'AEG 

myself. Everything is done for me. I am the flower 
of the Meuse valley." 

Through all his dancing and boasting the uncanny 
creature carried the natural grace and airiness of the 
Latin. An Anglo-Saxon boor, half tipsy before a 
wine-shop, would have broken the door or the head of 
its keeper. Choux's many words were to him what 
action is to the more forceful race. As he capered in 
the green winter twihght Mengette appeared at his 
elbow, to drive him to shelter as she had already driven 
her geese. He knew she had plenty of fagots in, and 
the soup steaming before the fire. He enjoyed the life 
he lived, and the homely night sound of dogs barking 
in Greux. 

" Regard me now. Widow Davide. My supper is 
ready, with meat in the pot. Why do I ever come to 
your wine-shop to be poisoned? It is because I pity 
you. I am not above showing sympathy to a poor 
woman without a man." 

" Go home, Choux," said Mengette, pushing him. 
" The Widow Davide may declare your sympathy costs 
her more than I can pay with my spinning. There is 
no meat in the pot. They laugh at you, but messire 
the cure vrill not laugh if he sees you dancing longer 
here." 

He was harder to chase into the house than an ob- 
durate gander, and no spoon could fiU Choux's mouth 
too fuU for talk. Mengette was glad when he turned 
into his lair for the night. He slept in a room which 
could be entered only from the garden ; and though 
there was a chimney in it, he would not build himself 
a fire or permit one to be lighted on his hearth. He 



THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'ARC 53 

liked darkness, and had none of the craving of age 
for heat. 

But Mengette was glad of her own fagots when she 
hooked the doors and opened her bed for the night. 
The light seemed a protection from the voice which 
talked with Choux in darkness, often alternating its 
high boyish note with Choux's dehberate croak half 
the night. Formerly when any neighbor came in 
after nightfall Choux kept silent ; but since this un- 
seen person, whom he called Valentin, had begun to 
visit him, he was so insolently noisy that Mengette 
dared not forecast what suspicions of sorcery he might 
bring upon himself. She felt the shame of an accom- 
plice in trying to endure this invisible creature, who 
doubtless ought to be proclaimed and put out of the 
house ; but Mengette shrunk from meddling in any 
way with the imusual. She wanted the natui-al things 
of life to surround and protect her from visions and 
voices. 

A hand was on the door, and she unfastened it to 
admit Isabel Eom^e and Jacquemine. 

The strong features of Jeanne's mother were thinned 
as by long illness. She did not cast her eye around 
with the usual oversight of Mengette's housekeeping. 
The pots were in a neat row, and the hearth was scoured 
white, and Jacquemine felt satisfaction in sitting down 
before blazing fagots in this house where he was to be 
master. All three were silent, speechless trouble driv- 
ing Choux and his voice out of Mengette's mind. 

Isabel put both hands over her face and leaned fox-. 
ward sobbing. 

" Pien-elo has come back from Vaucouleurs alone." 



54: THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 

" I know it, godmotlier. I saw Mm between Dom- 
remy and Greux when I was driving in the geese." 

" My child has gone into France ! I shall never see 
her again." 

" She will come home sometime, godmother." 

" No ; she wiU come home no more. I was sure of 
that from the first; but when I saw him riding by 
himself, it seemed that I had never known it. Did 
Pierre teU you he brought a letter from her ? " 

" He showed me a folded paper." 

"Her father sits by the hearth, and will not turn 
his head. The letter has been in his hand since the 
cure read it to us. She had it written by a clerk at 
Vaucouleurs, and put her own ci-oss-mark on it, ask- 
ing forgiveness. My Jehannette is a good child. I 
am myself to blame for urging her to man-iage. In 
Vaucouleurs they have a reverence for her. Pierre 
says she rode out in man's clothes, and all the people 
wept. He would have gone on her track, but Durai^d^ 
Laxart did us this grace : he made Pierre coniSnome. 
Jacques told you the Duke of Lorraine sent from Nancy 
for Jehannette to pray for his recovery." 

" She is a good puceUe, godmother. When she told 
me the saints spoke to her, I could not help believing 
it." 

Isabel shook her head. The vigorous woman, who 
had little bent toward the superstition of her time, stiQ 
denied Jeanne's visions. Saints certainly existed in, 
a f ar-oif place called heaven, but it was not likely they 
troubled themselves about anything in this world. 
Isabel considered them vaguely benevolent, but much 
taken up with tuning harps and singing. More than 



THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'ARC 55 

all, she felt it impossible that such holy beings should 
stoop to members of her own family. In other ages 
and countries heaven had communicated with blessed 
martyrs: but St. Michael had never shown himself 
in her garden behind the church; the cMld had 
dreamed it. 

She wiped her face, raising it to meet what was yet 
in store for her. 

"And now we must lose Pierrelo. In the spring, 
when the hermit friar sets out for Tours, the cur6 will 
ask him to take Pierrelo to Jehannette. The lad can 
hardly wait our consent." 

Jacquemine sat with his knees braced together and 
both hands resting on them. He now spoke out with 
virtuous determination : 

" Myself, I will never forsake my father and mother 
to go to the wars, even with their consent." 

" You ! " flashed Isabel, unreasonably resenting on 
him the pain inflicted by those she loved better. " Yes ; 
Jacquemine will stay at home and be a daughter to us." 

Jacquemine burned scarlet, the blood submerging 
his freckles and mounting into his sandy hair. Men- 
gette resolved that when he became her husband she 
would never make his eyes fill so piteously. She said 
to him, "Sit closer to the fire, Jacquemine," and he 
did so, feeling that his part was taken and comfort 
offered him. She understood a home-keeping nature. 
Mengette would not have left Domremy for the crown 
of France. She loved to do the things she was accus- 
tomed to do, and sometimes thought of Choux's death 
almost with grief because, though it would permit her 
marriage, it must change her employment. The longer 



56 THE CAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

she was betrothed to Jacquemine the more satisfaction 
she took in the arrangement, though there was little 
chance for courtship, Isabel being watchful, and Men- 
gette having that discretion which is given to some 
girls instead of mothers. 

Isabel scarcely noticed them. She stared into space, 
wondering at the nature that had outgrown her gui- 
dance. It had been her delight to train Jeanne, the 
child was so docile and so responsive to good. Jeanne's 
eyes would fill with tears at sight of any suffering. 
No wonder the troubles in France had swept her away. 

"But where is she now?" exclaimed Isabel. "My 
child is somewhere out in the night, with only men 
around her ! " The room again resounded with un- 
restrained mourning. 

" No one would hurt Jehannette," declared Mengette. 

"It is true the men were aH put under oath by the 
Captain of Vaucouleurs to conduct her in safety, and 
Pierrelo says they are very trusty men, and Bertrand 
de Poulengy is of the party. But my heart has begun 
to misgive me about Bertrand de Poulengy. One is 
afraid of everything when one's child is no longer 
under the roof. What is that?" demanded Isabel, 
with sudden attention. " I hear a stranger in Choux's 
room." 

Mengette swallowed her voice, and knew that her 
heart was beating audibly. A rapid, boyish treble 
rose higher and higher in Choux's chamber, and ended 
in shrill laughter. Jacquemine drew closer to the 
hearth, fading to ghastliness in the increased light, 
and seeking Meugette's eye for companionship. He 
had heard Choux boast in the wine-shop of this nightly 



THK DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 57 

visitor, and had laughed at it ; for then it was broad 
daylight, and nobody believed a word Choux said. 

Isabel turned to her goddaughter, who knew that 
the moment for teUing the truth had come. " What 
stranger is staying in your house ? " 

" It is no person at all, godmother. It is nothing 
but a voice. Choux says it comes and tallis to him 
every night, and he calls it Valentin." 

Choux's croak and Valentin's high note jangled rap- 
idly together, stopping on Isabel's lips the accusation 
of trickery. Her face became stupid with astonish- 
ment, the blankness changing to a look of humiliation. 

" How long has he had this voice ? " 

" Not very long, godmother. Only a few months." 

" Why have you not told me 1 " 

Mengette picked at her petticoat, and answered, " I 
did not like to." 

" These things put me out of patience," said Isabel, 
fiercely. " I wonder what is abroad in the world, that 
even old Choux hath taken to him a familiar spirit? 
Run home, Jacquemine, if you have so much fear. As 
for me, voices and visions have bi'oken my heart. They 
can no longer fright me." 

" I was but thinking that the cur6 should come with 
a censer," Jacquemine answered, shrinking against the 
chimney. 

" The cure should come with a stout club. Did Je- 
hannette ever hear this voice of Choux's 1 " 

"No; I am certain she never did. I alone have 
heard it, for they were not so bold with their talking 
before Jehannette went away." 

The contrasted laughter of cackling age and shrill 



58 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 

youth filled the next chamber. Jacquemine repeatedly 
crossed himself against that unrestrained second pres- 
ence, which grew more tangible to the imagination 
than Choux's head in its red cap. 

Isabel lost no time, but thumped on the partition 
with her knuckles. It was a stone wall, but an open 
cupboard was let into it, making a good conductor of 
sound. 

" Choux, stop that noise ! " 

There was silence. Then the young voice in mimi- 
cry repeated Isabel's command like an echo. 

" Mengette shall not stay in the house with you, 
and no one in this village will feed you, if this sorcery 
be not stopped. If you must play your tricks with 
Satan, go out in the fields, where Christian folks can- 
not hear. I am ,'going to sleep here with Mengette, 
and I will have you up before messire the cur6 if that 
limb of the fiend makes any more disturbance to- 
night." 

There was a flurry of whispering, and when it ceased 
Choux lifted his husky voice to defy a woman he 
dreaded, but who stood at the other side of a wall. 
" Limb of the fiend be named thyself, Isabel Ilom6e. 
Valentin, whom thou hast frighted off, is as honest a 
creature as any saint that ever went walking in thy 
own garden. It would have been better to listen to 
news from thy maid, who never stood in such peril as 
she stands in this night." 

"Such mock messengers bring no word for me. 
And now, mind what I teU thee : whether thou hast 
a familiar or art practising trickery, there shall be no 
more of it in this house." 



THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'ARC 69 

Isabel listened austerely ; but when sbe turned from 
silencing Choux her face had many more haggard lines, 
which were not the marks of fear. He had cunningly 
reminded her that Jeanne was sleeping in the open 
fields. The mother's thoughts tried to bridge darkness, 
roaming indefinitely southwestward, and having no 
means to come at the actual spot near the river 
Aube. 

By bridle-paths and across country the riders from 
Vaucouleurs had achieved more than nine leagues the 
first day, and the same distance the second. The first 
night they were received at the Abbey of St. Urbain, 
in what is now the department of Haute-Marne, but 
the next night brought them to more dangerous 
ground. They descended into a valley near the little 
town of Bar-sur-Aube, and, avoiding it, forded the 
river some distance north of the walls. The place they 
selected for their camp was a cove between two shoul- 
ders of the winding hiUs. Some leafless trees sheltered 
it. Already there were monitions of spring in the air, 
and a faint green light, like the tender apple-green of 
the Meuse, swam in motes between one's eyes and gray 
slopes, until the world was blurred by night. Houses 
on the walls began to shine like candles. Jeanne's 
party lighted no fire, but ate cold bread and meat, and 
drank their wine, she sitting a little apart from the 
men, and the servants taking their portion to them- 
selves. 

The dauphin's messenger was a lean, light man in 
the saddle, running over with jokes and songs, which 
he could hardly suppress in the presence of the maid 



60 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 

he was conducting ; but he was the first one to wrap 
himself well in his cloak and lie down for the night. 
It had been agreed that the maid was to be guarded 
between Jean de Metz and Bertrand de Poulengy. 
These were Baudricourt's orders when camp was made 
under the open sky. So she lay down betwixt knight 
and squire, with her peasant dress under her head for 
a piUow; and the old soldier was soon asleep. But 
the young one lay awake, with his face away from 
the cloaked maid whom he had so desired for his 
wife. 

She slept with regular, low breathing, as unconscious 
of his presence as when he rode behind her all day. 
She had no armor. It was not necessary for Ih'tti to 
serve her as squire ; but he could watch unceasingly 
her gay eagerness to get forward, her steadiness in 
fording deep water, the curve of her back where waist 
met hips, and even the blush of tan beginning to tint 
ears and cheeks under her soldier's cap. He lay near 
enough to put his hajid upon her, yet he had never in 
his life felt so remote from Jeanne d'Arc. 

Tears swelled his eyeballs and choked his throat. 
The boy ground Ids teeth with an oath between them, 
changing his oath to a praj'^er, the anguish and unen- 
dui'able contradictions of life filling him full to the 
hps. In starting to the wars he had counted on a 
sublime self that had been wearied out of his body, a 
high, priestly fellow with no personal needs whatever ; 
and here he was the same Bertrand de Poulengy, 
heartsore, and fuU of fierce youth and desire. But 
while he lay with his back toward Jeanne, and his fists 
clenched, feeling like a dog,— a faithful, worshiping 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 61 

dog, yet one that was never to be rewarded by a pat, 
—some of the peace which enveloped her came over 
him. His blood ceased its rapid beating, and ex- 
ternal things seemed to approach in a new way to 
divert and comfort him. He folded his arms and 
turned his face toward the sky. Humid night air, 
chill earth, and vapor-strewn stars became forces for 
him to resist hardily, with patience, as a man, and 
with a kind of toughening of the spirit. There was 
not one bitter or unsound spot in the boy. 

"By the time down has grown stiEf on my lip," 
thought Bertrand, "and I have seen something of 
battle, I shall bear this without making a fool of my- 
self." 

Couvre-feu had already rung in Bar-sur-Aube ; the 
lights were out ; no noises came from the town. The 
full river whispered. Without knowing it, the voices 
of the two sullen soldiers and Richard the archer, who 
had ridden with the messenger from Chinon, en- 
croached more and more upon the silence. Bertrand 
knew they were sullen. He had seen them scowl 
when they rubbed down the horses, and wink deri- 
sively at one another when the maid went into a 
thicket with her rosary in her hand. One under- 
thought of his wakefulness was to watch these men. 
The archer had been left on guard, to be followed by 
his companions in tui'n ; but all three heads were yet 
clustered together, as they had sat at their bread and 
meat, with a bottle going round from mouth to mouth. 
Peril enough attended this journey to Chinon without 
seeking any in the camp. Peril in the camp, however, 
wiU soon come seeking him who lets it be. Bertrand 



62 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

rested on his elbow and listened. He would have 
crept toward the men, but the letter of his oath bound 
him to his place by Jeanne's side during a night in the 
fields. Three dim shapes against the darkness of the 
hills, Richard the archer and the two soldiers pushed 
their voices farther and farther into the cove. The 
humid air carried cautious sounds in f uU volume to 
the listener. 

"If the lot fell to me I would do it," spoke the 
archer. "We have had enough of this witch- work. 
Let us be rid of her." 

"Since it comes to sleeping on the ground," said 
one soldier. 

Bertrand's weapons, which hung from his belt when 
it was clasped, now lay within a fold of his cloak. He 
took the small ax and held it ready. 

A murmur of urging and fragments of words 
reached his ears. He caught, without distinctly hear- 
ing, the men's determination to throw the maid into 
the Aube, and then desert with the horses ; and reach- 
ing cautiously over Jeanne, he prodded De Metz with 
the ax-handle. De Metz slept on Uke an honest man. 
Bertrand thought this movement of his was seen by 
the soldier on whom the lot had evidently fallen ; for 
the man paused in stealthy approach, and slunk back 
to his fellows, being met by a low growl like reviling. 

Richard the archer, standing a foot above his com- 
panions, next stepped forward, and Bertrand held the 
ax ready to split his head as he stooped. But two 
lanee-lengths beyond the reach of the guardian's arm 
he seemed to find a barrier that he could not pass, and 
collapsing backward as if he had already received a 



THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 63 

Mow, scrambled on hands and knees toward his mates, 
who uttered a sound of panic. 

Bertrand's blood was all aUve, forgetting depression 
and the chill of the earth. Jealous of his right to 
protect the maid, he said to himself, " I will not wake 
De Metz." His own part of secrecy and silence amused 
him, and he tingled with laughter at the futile at- 
tempts. 

" The poor fools really have no harm in them ; they 
are only discontented ; and when they have done eas- 
ing full minds on one another they will go about their 
business." 

Yet he determined to see that they went about their 
business, and clasping on his weapons, he stood up to 
follow them. A swift smiting of light on the eyeballs, 
like that which flashes within the lid when sight 
struggles in pitch darkness, showed him the archer 
and both soldiers crouching a few feet away. 

" "What are you doing there ? " he demanded ; but 
they did not hear him. They did not look at him. 
. A thinning of the dimness around, like the shadowed 
edge of light, revealed their staring eyes and the sepa- 
rate hairs bristling on their unshaven jaws. 

Jeanne had risen to her knees betwixt De Metz and 
Bertrand, her muffled figure bent forward, the fixed 
curve of her body, the very threads of her cloak, whit- 
ened strangely in the night. No visible hovering 
presence poured glory on her, yet she shone. Her 
squire, still holding the ax, crossed his hands on his 
bosom, feeling drenched by some divine power. 

Long after Jeanne lay down from her half -conscious 
prayer, breathing like a healthy child, and long after 



64 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

archer and soldiers, separating in silence, had taken to 
watch or to hiding, Bertrand stood with his hands 
crossed on his breast. He knew that he should never 
speak of this night except lightly, but he wondered 
what terror there could be for ignorant men in that 
instant's glow which had rested on the maid. 




IV 



jjHINON CASTLE stood among clouds 
above the compact walled town of Chinon, 
huge and white, buttressed along the cliffs, 
showing all its towers and battlements, 
from the horologe portal to an ancient Roman round 
fortress at its extremity, as the riders from Vaucou- 
leurs approached it at sunset. The vaUey of the river 
Vienne, like so many of the valleys of France, stretched 
from the foot of sheer heights to far blue alluvial hills. 
Touraine was a rich country even then, when large 
tracts of the realm lay waste and unproductive year 
after year. The forward spring made a blur like 
green light over massed distances, showing, as no 
single tree by the river could do, revival of life in 
buds. 

Some fishermen were in a boat, pohng over the rocky 
bottom of the Vienne. Its dark-green water in shady 
places took the color of ale. As the party from Vau- 
couleurs crossed the bridge, the town gates were 
opened, and the dauphin's messenger came out to 
meet them. - 

"You have made good speed to-day without me," 
fi 6a 



66 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ABC 

he said, wheeling his horse to enter beside De Metz, 
who led the company ; " but it is a plain journey from 
St. Katherine de Fierbois to Chinon. How many 
masses did the maid hear yesterday while she rested 
in the church of St. Katherine ? " ^ 

"Only three," answered De Metz. His smile was 
indulgent, but the courtier's was mocking. "And 
every man of us, constrained to rub his knees so long 
on that stone floor, was fain to envy you riding for- 
ward at ease, with a letter to the dauphin, and the 
end of the journey in sight." 

The horses neighed when the gates closed after them, 
scenting shelter and provender. Nimble-footed, they 
picked their way through lanes of overhanging houses 
crowded to the hUl beneath the castle buttresses, re- 
membering no more their twelve days' beating across 
varying soils of France. By way of Auxerre, Gien, 
Salbris, Eamorantin, Selles, St. Aignan, Loches, and 
the parish church of St. Katherine de Fierbois, they 
had brought their riders without mishap to Chinon. 
The horse which Durand Laxart had provided for 
Jeanne stepped soberly behind De Metz's ; her squire 
reined his, more spirited, a pace behind. Two or three 
church towers seemed to hold the light of the March 
sunset which ascending little streets so readily lost. 

" Deputies from Orleans are now at the castle," said 
the dauphin's messenger ; " they have come to hasten 
this business about the maid." 

"I call that good news," answered the knight. 
" And since the expense of this expedition has rested 

1 St. Catieriiie's name is thus spelled in all records concern- 
ing tlds parish, church. 



THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'ABC 67 

on me, and tlie three troublesome knaves behind our 
backs are certain to demand their pay at once, the 
dauphin will doubtless soon put my mind at rest 
about the scores." 

" Oh, doubtless ; or Messire Alan Chartier will make 
you a song which wiU give your mind great ease. We 
wiU all share our tranquillity with you; but if you 
expect to find any money at Chinon you wiU be disap- 
pointed. Jacques Coeur of Bourges is the only man 
in this poor kingdom that hath any gold ; and sage as 
that generous goldsmith is, he wiU be stripped before 
this business with England be finished. I myself am 
used to eating sheep's legs at Chinon, where the king 
hath not even a comfit-box to pass to the ladies. But 
if I told other good fellows at court that you came 
with a fidl pouch, you would not have pieces enough 
to divide among the borrowers." 

" In that case the dauphin might as well stand in- 
debted to me. In truth, this is the first time I have 
taken thought ahout my money, for the maid was 
welcome for her own sake, and I must abide by the 
good or bad that comes of this venture. But I hope 
we shall have leave to go to Orleans soon." 

"I think myself it promises well that the envoys 
from Orl6ans are here. But a king is not the only 
person that governs a realm, Messire de Metz." 

A few dogs barked at the cavalcade, but the quiet 
villagers paid little attention to it. There was much 
coming and going betwixt court and distressed king- 
dom. A man blind in his left eye and lame in his 
right foot was dipping a two-handled jug in the public 
fountain, and singing. The sweet, tremulous tenor 



68 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

spread ttrougli the valley, and followed Jeanne as she 
ascended to the castle, like music sent to encourage 
her. 

The dauphin's messenger made his party dismount 
at the inn, where the horses were to be left, and where 
even the big cook, white as flour fi'om head to foot, 
came out to help hold bridles ; and he then took the 
most direct path, which was a paved gutter between 
walls scarcely two arms' lengths apart. A door stood 
open at one side, showing a dark interior, lighted only 
by a red hearth with a child's head against the shine, 
and Bertrand was startled to see that these continuous 
walls were house-fronts. Voices of women were heard 
talking within the stone. A thread of water moved 
down the depressed center of the way. Winding, this 
path led up to a broad track which turned upon itself 
and faced the castle. Chinon had been a favorite seat 
of English kings before it passed into the hands of the 
French. A huge gray ruin, the ancient Abbey of St. 
George extended along the height like a detached out- 
work of the castle. Its thick walls had been burrowed 
into by poor wretches who stood gaunt-faced at their 
doors and looked at the arriving maid. Living so 
near the royal gates, they had heard of her, and they 
witnessed the insolence of a drunken soldier who came 
down the slope and boldly stumbled against her. Ber- 
trand de Poulengy struck him out of the way. 

" Jarnedieu ! " the soldier snarled, using the common 
oath of his class. 

" Dost thou jarnedieu," said Jeanne, piteously, turn- 
ing to follow him with her eyes— "thou who art so 
near death ? " 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 69 

The warder lowered a long drawbridge across the 
moat, and the clock struck high above their heads as 
they passed through the tower of the horologe. From 
this portal a sunken road guarded by masonry ascended 
to a wide garden. The glow of sunset lingered on 
winding paths, and masses of trees, and banks where 
roses would be rankly abundant in their season. 
Though birches, oaks, and shrubs were yet leafless, 
they almost hid the royal ch&teau, to which it seemed 
a far cry from the gate. Nothing was spoken until 
the party came to this pile, buttressed along the cliff, 
and looking with large stone-cased windows over val- 
ley and height. 

" This is the middle chMeau, where the king rests," 
said the royal messenger; and Jeanne would have 
turned aside to the great entrance. 

" You are not to be lodged here," he told her ; " you 
go yonder to the tower of Coudray, beyond the inner 
moat." 

They passed the long palace side, seeing no face look 
down in welcome, and crossed the bridge over the in- 
ner moat. Instead of water a fleece of springing grass 
covered the depths of this wide and sheltered moat. 
A curtain of stone connected a high tower on the moat 
bank with another battlemented tower built into the 
buttressed cliff wall. There was an archway in the 
curtain at the end of the bridge, through which they 
passed to the tower of Coudray on the right hand. It 
rose between two wings of masonry. The farther one 
was expanded to a chapel, but the nearer one seemed 
merely a sheltered entrance to a stone staircase built 
up ^ the first floor of the tower. Joints of creepers 



70 THE DAYS OF JEAJTOTE D'AEC 

clung about its corners and massed over its sasUess 
window. Wherever a rock had crumbled, little tufts 
of green were coming generously out to meet the Tou- 
raine sun. 

"Ascend here, pucelle," said the dauphin's mes- 
senger ; " and wait until I see the king. Women wiU. 
be sent to attend you. Here is better footing than on 
the inner stairs." 

"But when shall I see the dauphin?" inquired 
Jeanne. Her guide made a gesture which counseled 
patience. 

" It hath struck seven of the clock," ventured Ber- 
trand. " Perhaps his Majesty is now at supper." 

" The king dines at seven in Chinon," said the mes- 
senger ; " and I have never seen him so bent on affairs 
of state that he abated his natural habits." 

" Messire Colet," said Jeanne, using her guide's name 
with a power of entreaty which pierced a courtier's 
indifference, " go you at once to the dauphin, and tell 
him I am here and must see him." 

" It shall be done, pucelle ; but you yourself need 
food; and rest also you need after ten days in the 
saddle, and no repose and comfort except what you 
could take upon your knees on the stones of St. 
Katherine de Fierbois." 

Jeanne turned laughing from her ascent of the 
stairs, and clapped her guide on the back with a sud- 
den palm. 

" I wish I had ten thousand such men as these, all 
armed and equipped, and ready to march this minute. 
We would make short work of the English in France." 

The astonished messenger saw her shut the door 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 71 

of the tower before he turned to De Metz and the 
squire. 

"Hath she not a strange effect on a man? You 
"would say she is a child diiven by some power toward 
bloody war; yet when you see her riding at speed, 
with her throat swelled out and her shoulders back, 
or when she rouses you with a stroke like that, you 
want to unsheathe a sword and shout." 

He led Jeanne's escort around to the front of the 
tower, where a door let them into a dark circular in- 
clostire. 

"I call this a beastly place," growled the archer. 
" In Vaucouleurs we had better stables for cattle." 

" This dungeon is only the guard-room of the tower," 
said the messenger; "but over yonder, beyond St. 
Martin's Chapel, we have some deep underground 
cells, with irons in the walls, for such fellows as you, 
my good bowman. If you bring a proud stomach to 
Chinon, you will be let down out of daylight, as many 
a better man hath been before your time." 

"A soldier needs nothing but a bench and the 
earthen floor," said De Metz; "but I would be glad 
to know that the maid hath better accommodations 
above." 

" She has two commodious chambers, one over the 
other, for herself and the ladies who will be sent to 
bear her company. And now, messire knight, set 
your guard, and I wiU show you and the squire where 
you are to lodge." 

" Let me stay with the guard until company is sent 
to the pucelle," requested Bertrand ; and his forward- 
ness was not rebuked. He sat down near the door. 



72 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

Richard the arclier being left as sentinel at the foot of 
the inner stairs. Richard could see nothing but cross- 
tracery of distant boughs or chapel walls through the 
door, while his watcher could also see the Roman tower, 
and much nearer something like a colossal chimney- 
top standing half the length of a man above ground. 
Wlule Bertrand sat there some serving-men descended 
into it by means of a ladder, and he learned afterward 
that it was an entrance to the subterranean storehouses 
of the castle. 

Ten days' resentment broke silence with the archer. 
" I need no spy over me, messire innkeeper. I stood 
at guard before thou wert born." 

" Age never improves a knave," retorted Bertrand. 
" Stand back, there ! I would as lief stick thee in the 
ribs as not. I have scarce been able to keep my hands 
off thee and thy two fellows since the night by Bar- 
sur-Aube." 

Though far from claiming social equality with the 
squire, the bowman resented being ranked with ser- 
vant-soldiers who had not yet risen to be men-at-arms. 
In every body of troops the ai-chers were most numer- 
ous. A lifetime of practice went to the making of 
their sMll, while any varlet could soon learn the trade 
of man-at-arms. Richard coarsely sneered and put his 
knuckles on his hips at mention of his two fellows, 
but his face changed at mention of the night by Bar- 
sur-Aube. 

" Come," said Bertrand, " tell me what you saw, and 
I will never mention the matter to the dauphin. The 
puceUe is now safe in Chinon, but he might clap you 
in irons for eonspii'ing to di'own her, if he knew it. 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARG 73 

I will pledge you also the silence of Messire de Metz, 
thougli we are both resolved you go no farther in om* 
company. What made you three knaves pick up your 
heels every time you approached her ? " 

"I do not know, messire." Richard's eyes were 
uneasy and his figure was dejected. 

" Did you see any apparition ? " 

"I will teU thee, Messire de Poulengy, I am glad 
this business is done, and I wish to be no more about 
the maid. While no man likes spying, I am well 
enough pleased to have thee on that bench as twUight 
falls, before torch be lighted iu this vault." 

"What did you see at Bar-sur-Aube ? " Bertrand 
repeated with impatience. 

"Nothing, messire— nothing. It was the feeling. 
We aU. had it. I would rather be scalded with boiling 
oil, or take a shaft through my body, than ever have 
it again. She may be a maid of God, but my flesh 
creepeth on coming near her. Something hath guard 
over her that an honest soldier cannot abide." 

" You did not see the awful archangel St. Michael 
hovering above her?" 

"No, messire." 

"You did not see St. Margaret and St. Catherine, 
one on each side of her, St. Margaret's dragon trailing 
across De Metz, and St. Catherine resting her wheel 
on a fold of my cloak ? " 

"No, messire," the bowman answered, a shudder 
going with his words. 

" It is well for you that you did not see them. The 
sight of them slays men that have the intention to do 
murder." 



74 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

" I pray God I may never see them," said Richard, 
devoutly. 

"Althougli you are a sinful man," observed Ber- 
trand, " I thiak your prayer will be answered. And 
see to it, you three, that you make early confession. 
It is dangerous to be iu the neighborhood of such a 
maid with sin on your conscience." 

"We are all agreed on that, messire. At first I 
thought she was a witch ; but now, though I have such 
terror of her as I never had of woman, I know she is 
not holpen of the devil." 

" You would be more at your ease in her company 
if she were ? " 

" Yes, messire ; whereas, after that feeling she gave 
me, I am loath even to swear in her hearing." 

"That must work you great discomfort. The knight 
of Novelopont will get you placed where you can curse 
in peace, and kill with more advantage to the dauphin." 

The rush of women's clothes, rather than the sound 
of footsteps, startled the squire from his bench. As 
he hurried past the window of that extension which 
sheltered the outer staircase, he saw two figures ascend- 
ing. One was an elderly woman, servant or duenna, 
and before her ran, light-footed, a creature of elegant 
back, wearing a high conical head-dress from which 
floated a cloud of gauze. 

"These be the dames sent from court," thought 
Bertrand. 

But Jeanne, sitting in the upper chamber by a 
window overlooking valley and middle chateau, turned 
at the small pat of footsteps, and saw only a maid 
entering from the stairs. 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 75 

It was a delicately fashioned, blue-eyed, -white and 
rose-red maid, with square brows and a full, oval face. 
The hair was drawn up from her high forehead and 
concealed under her head-dress. Though the face was 
shown thus freely, and all of the weU-set neck, its 
sweet modesty was its first charm. Jeanne stood up 
to receive her, but she made a gesture of greetiag, and 
drew a chair for herself near the window, measuring 
Jeanne's male hose and cuirass with the swift and 
critical inspection of youth. 

" You are the maid from Vaucouleurs ? " 

"Yes, demoiselle." 

"I saw you pass under the ch&teau windows, and 
slipped away directly to see you. My name is Agnes 
Sorel. My aunt is lady in waiting to the Queen of 
Sicily, his Majesty's mother-in-law." 

She di-ew in her breath with pretty haste, and added : 
" Let us have some talk before the old duennas come. 
You are to have two of the most tiresome women at 
court put in here to take care of you. By that ar- 
rangement we get rid of them, and they feel their se- 
lection a mark of royal favor." 

" I did not come to women ; I came to see the dau- 
phin," said Jeanne. 

"Here we do not say the dauphin," observed Agnes. 
"Charles is our king, having been consecrated at 
Poitiers. That little beast Louis, the king's son, is 
the dauphin; and if he lives— which God forbid! — 
wiU some day be Louis XI of France, provided the 
BngHsh leave us any France." 

The eagerness of the one, so unlike the quiet power 
of the other, seemed to work a sudden embarrassment 



76 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

between the two maids. Agnes, however, drew her 
chair still nearer to Jeanne. In this high tower a 
primrose daylight lingered, reflecting its glow upon 
them from the circular stone walls. No tapestry was 
hung here, hut both bedchambers of Condray were 
provided with all that women then used in their 
dressing- and sleeping-rooms. 

" Do you like to wear the habit of a man ? " 

" The habit matters nothing," answered Jeanne. " I 
am obliged to wear it to do what I am sent to do." 

" And will you really ask the king to send you to 
war?" 

" I will go to-morrow, demoiselle, if he but give me 
men-at-arms." 

Agnes rested her full, oval chin on a hand so sensi- 
tively white and fine that Jeanne reflected that it could 
never have twisted wool betwixt finger and thumb, or 
washed at the river. 

" One can see you are no fool. I have myself some- 
times felt in a rage to go to war, or to do anything 
which would stir this lazy Charles. He is the sweetest 
king that ever drew breath. Do you see that great 
stone shaft on the back of the middle chateau ?" she 
suddenly inquired. " That is an oubliette. The cour- 
tiers say nothing about it, but every one knows' it is 
an oubhette, and is entered from the upper floor of 
the ch§,teau. There a trap drops one to the very 
depths of this rock, and a sluice carries one's body into 
the river, and no person the wiser, and all trace lost. 
Oh, many a king has dropped his enemies down that 
oubliette; but Charles has never used it in his life. 
I should use it. Long since would that machinery 



THE, DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 77 

have been oiled and set in motion if I had been king, 
and the first person sent down the shaft would have 
been Georges la Tr6mouille." 

" Who is Georges la Tr6niouille ? " 

"Did you never hear of the king's favorite? If 
France be altogether lost to the English, it will be his 
fault. Indeed, there is not a soul near the king who 
cares what becomes of France, unless it be the Queen 
of Sicily, who has bestirred herself for all the troops 
raised. I despise king's favorites," said the child 
courtier, with fervor. " I am only poor Agnes Sorel 
of Loches, but I can see through that La Tr^mouille. 
He will not suffer any one to be near Charles except 
himself, and hath even sent the queen away to tend 
the nursery of the little beast of a dauphin. Yet he 
loves neither the king nor the realm. He simply wishes 
to be master at court. You will have to pass him be- 
fore you get leave to face the English, pucelle. My 
aunt has heard it said he is in league with them. He 
has a chateau at SuUy-sur-Loire, near Orleans; but 
the English, however they go about meddling with 
France, never trouble him." 

Agnes lifted a finger to silence her own rapid talk, 
and turned her head to listen as the woman who had 
entered the tower with her repeated a call on the stairs. 

" Your old cats are craning, pucelle. I am warned 
to go." 

" Will you carry a message for me to the dauphin, 
demoiselle ? " 

" Gladly would I ; but my aunt does not yet permit 
me to have speech with the king. I am too young and 
insignificant. I am not of the court, indeed, but only 



78 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 

taJdng a peep at it from my convent at Leches, to be 
sent directly back. But I can use my eyes and ears, 
and they should be serviceable to you if my aunt per- 
mitted me to stay at Chinon." 

She had reached the stairs. She turned and faced 
the tall maid standing in man's clothes against the 
fading window. They looked at each other with a 
long look. Agnes Sorel's face whitened with pas- 
sionate earnestness, forecasting the power of her ma- 
turity, when she should be called "belle des belles," 
and reign like a queen for the good of the kingdom. 

" Pucelle, I may never see you again. We are very 
different, but we both love France. And I shall love 
France better as long as I live because I have seen 
you. Good day." 

" Good day, demoiselle. Pray for me." 




ilTAES came out over Cliiiion, and the air 
was "warm, unlike the crisp Marcli night 
air of Domremy. Jeanne had eaten her 
supper, but she remained by the upper 
■window of the tower thinking of her coming audience 
with the dauphin. She could not sleep, as did the two 
elderly ladies of the court in the chamber under her ; 
but, sitting on the broad siU, she watched the lights of 
the middle chateau, and harkened to sounds across 
the moat. 

There were delicious strains of music, sometimes a 
roar of laughter, or a hint of women's voices rising and 
falling in chorus. Jeanne heard the clock strike in its 
high, distant place; but time was nothing to these 
courtiers in the middle chateau, who, according to the 
w^ords of the yoimg demoiselle, cared so little what be- 
came of France. To a Lorraine peasant the sovereign 
was more sacred than the nearest relation. She was 
angry with his friends ; and when a flare of torch-light 
came around the front of the palace, the maid leaned 
out amazed. 
Muffled ladies lifting their long mantles from the 
79 



80 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

damp of the ground, and men in rich colors and 
plumed hats picking their way with pointed shoes, 
flocked toward her tower across the moat bridge. 
Jeanne's heart pounded in her side. It could not be 
that the dauphin was sending this gay train to bring 
her into his presence. But she saw Charles himself in 
the midst of it. Wliere was there a child in the Meuse 
valley who did not know the traits of the house of 
Valois ? Burgundy, the younger branch of this house, 
brought forth strong, dark men ; Orleans, the kingly 
branch, men of sanguine complexion and soft hair. 
Yet all had the same aquiline features, marked chins, 
and outward turning of the edges of the lips. Jeanne 
needed no one to show her the dauphin, stepping be- 
tween torch-bearers, in a long robe which covered him, 
the smoke filming above his fair head, his laughing, 
unconcerned eyes roving the little world about him. 

With a patter like a flock of sheep the light footsteps 
of the company wheeled to the left, and they went on 
with their torches to the battlemented tower of Boissy, 
followed by a long, gay fellow in black, carrying in 
his arms an instrument on which he made tripping 
melody as he went. Jeanne could see from her height 
the flat top of the tower of Boissy, with its parapet of 
stone. The curtain of masonry along the moat ran 
like a path from one tower to the other. Torchmen 
stepped outside the parapet, and stood on an open stone 
platform supporting the battlements, and in the ring 
of smoky light which they formed the lute struck up, 
and Charles's little court, hilarious with its freak in the 
mild March night, flung mufflers aside, and made the 
pavement resound with their dancing. 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC 81 

Orleans was nearly surrounded by the English, and 
whole villages in France stood as empty as kennels. 
In the Solange country there had been no plowing or 
sowing for years, and women as gaunt as wolves tried 
to nourish little living skeletons at their breasts. Eob- 
bers were in every province. The infant long of Eng- 
land was crowned in Paris, while the dauphin of 
France had neither army nor crown; his last hope 
was slipping from him with Orleans : and he and his 
people went merrily out in the night to dance on the 
top of a tower ! 

It was not until the next evening that the ladies who 
attended Jeanne came to tell her that the king was 
ready to give her audience. All day she had been tor- 
mented by courtiers, who ran up the stairs to look at 
her, or followed her into the chapel of St. Martin, 
where she went to pray. One was a lean boy in a 
page's dress, who craned his neck around a pillar of 
the chapel; the corners of his mouth turned upward 
with the habit of laughter. She felt moved to put on 
a calm front while she was watched, and to let none 
of them catch her weeping ; so, with a quick pass of 
her hands through her short hair, she said to those 
prudent ladies whom Agnes Sorel called the old 
cats: 

"En nom De, if the dauphin be ready to see me, 
take me before him at once." 

They first took her, with the gentle hands of women 
accustomed to robe royalty, to a long garment lying 
ready upon a bench, and one of them began to un- 
fasten her cuirass. 

"What are you doing?" asked Jeanne. 



82 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC 

" Preparing you for audience with the king. One 
must put on a court dress when one goes to court." 

"I never in my life traUed cloth after me on the 
ground. I cannot weai- it," said Jeanne, eying the 
folds doubtfully ; " let me be as I am." 

"But thou art a maid," urged one of the dames. 
" It is not fitting that a maid should go before the kiag 
in man's tunic and hose." 

" Then I will put on my short peasant dress, that I 
brought behind my saddle from Vaucouleurs." 

"But the Mug," suggested one of the ladies, for 
neither of the two found her easy to command, "is a 
nice observer of women's clothes. I remember hearing 
him praise to the queen a hennin that had the front 
bent down to make scallops along the brow." 

"What have I to do with hennins?" exclaimed 
Jeanne. "What are hennins?" 

" Hennins are high, pointed head-coverings." 

"The kind of hennin for me is a casque of steel. 
You cannot make a court lady of me." Curious and 
impatient, she examined the long dark robe edged with 
white, unwilling to be rude to the two shadow-like at 
tendants. Her young delight in colors and her sense 
of what was fitting for Jeanne d'Arc rejected it. " Give 
me my cloak." 

" But will you not put on the court dress ? " 

" The high steward is waiting to conduct you," said 
the other lady, " and time presses." 

" En nom De, I wiU go to the dauphin as I am." 

An ascent of broad steps gave entrance to the great 
hall of the middle chateau. Sixty feet distant, at the 
end of the vaulted room, was a chimney of white stone 



THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 83 

■with square pillars upholding its penthouse. A pair 
of andirons with posset-cups stood nearly as high as 
the chimney-breast. A noble fire blazed here, reflected 
by the pohshed oak boards of the floor ; candles were 
lighted, and fifty torches were fastened along the 
walls, burning clearly, and showing the whiteness of 
Chinon stone, which gave all masonry such a ghostly 
look by night; for the only pieces of tapestry were 
hung at the sides of the chimney, showing miracles 
performed by St. Martin. Each window, recessed in 
the thick wall, had its two opposite splayed seats of 
stone, worn by much lounging. 

The court had gathered with full curiosity to see 
the sorceress. Though Chinon was a secure place, 
well removed from the seat of war, it was dull in the 
month of March before Easter festivities came on. 
Three hundred knights and nobles were in the haU, 
each wearing the color of the lady he affected ; and 
beautiful, spirited women, priests and court officers, 
walked to and fro, carrying the light on their raiment. 
Their talk came to Jeanne, as she ascended, like the 
humming of bees. 

Yolande, the dowager Queen of Sicily, stood kindly 
near the entrance to greet and put at ease a poor maid 
whom she had begged to have at Chinon. The young 
man-at-arms brought in by the high steward, with 
bare forehead and short hair flying about her delicate 
ears, confused the queen, who had herself sent a fitting 
court dress to the maid. While she looked for a timid 
peasant to foUow this straight-limbed youth, Jeanne 
walked up the hall toward the dauphin. 

He stood in the midst of courtiers, least distin- 



84 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 

guished of all by his dress ; but she who had carried 
his image in mind from childhood could easily choose 
him. Charles was not more than ten years older than 
Jeanne. He had the beauty of young manhood, and 
was of an imposing figure out of armor, which be- 
trayed the weak outline of his legs. The sweetest 
king who ever drew breath was languorous and gentle 
in his manner, kindly toward the pleasant side of the 
world, and most attractive to women. 

The courtiers let Jeanne pass through the midst of 
them, regarding her with the eyes of people accus- 
tomed to laugh for pastime, until she reached the 
middle of the hall, when one of them stepped back- 
ward with continuous bowing, and directed her to a 
person gorgeous with decorations. 

" The king." 

" But why do you tell me that 1 " inquired Jeanne, 
surprised that they should want to make game of her 
serious business. Without pausing, she continued on 
her way to Charles, and knelt, bending her body al- 
most to the groimd. 

" God give you good life, fair dauphin." 

" I am not the king," said Charles, his smiling lips 
continuing the game. 

" You are not yet the king, but you shall be. My 
name is Jeanne the maid. The King of heaven sends 
you word by me that you shall be anointed and 
crowned in the city of Rheims, and it is his pleasure 
that our enemies the English depart to their own 
country." 

" How am I to know this 1 " Feeling the beauty of 
her voice, he looked into familiar eyes around for the 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 85 

answering smile whicli often helped him to take seri- 
ous matters lightly. His queen and his mother-in-law 
had urged hirn to seize any help, and the city of Or- 
gans was wildly demanding this strange creature, 
who affected him, not as woman shoidd affect man, 
but as some blameless and sexless knight dropped out 
of God knew where for his reproach. It would be 
said in every kingdom of Christendom that Charles of 
France was come to a pretty pass when he was obUged 
to take up with a peasant maid from the hills of Lor- 
raine to lead his troops and fight his battles. 

' ' My sign shall be the raising of the siege of OrMans." 

The dauphin's eyes met the eyes of the deputies, and 
all three men agreed silently that she might well be 
used against the BngUsh if the people believed she 
could raise the siege. 

The Queen of Sicily whispered with awe to ladies in 
waiting : " Not only did she know the king without ever 
having seen him, but she kneels as if brought up in a 
court." 

"And I have a sign also for you alone, gentle 
dauphin," said Jeanne, " that I may not tell to any 
other ear." 

" Come aside and tell it to mine alone, then," said 
Charles. 

They stepped into a window recess, and stood be- 
tween the two splayed seats, Charles with his back to 
the court. The cross of stone which parted the win- 
dow into four oblongs of starhght was behind Jeanne. 
And much farther behind her, in the distant valley of 
the Meuse, was that past life from which she had come 
to these strange uses. 



86 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC 

The courtiers talked among themselves, women's 
pointed hennins towering above men's heads; but 
every face, even that of the court poet leaning against 
a chimney pillar and noiselessly fingering his lute, 
was turned toward the dauphin and the maid. 

Charles entered the alcove as a man submits himself 
to remedies unproved which he has half a mind to re- 
ject. In the middle ages sorcery was the unpardon- 
able sin. The folly of having to do with a peasant 
would be nothing compared with the charge of helping 
himself by witchcraft. Yet this humble presence be- 
side him, in the dress of a soldier, scarcely conscious 
of herself, was not like any creature who had in his 
lifetime been sent to the stake accused of meddling 
with devils. 

Their talk in the window was so brief that the 
change in the dauphin startled his court. He turned 
about with a radiant face, and led the maid toward 
them by the hand. Never in the seven years of his 
uneasy reign— and those who knew him longest said 
never in his life before— had he been so jubilant.^ 

1 "One day, at the period of his greatest adversity, the prince, 
vainly looking for a remedy against so many troubles, entered 
in the morning, alone, into his oratory, and there, without utter- 
ing a -word aloud, made prayer to God from the depths of his 
heart that if he were the true heir, issue of the house of France 
(and a doubt was possible with such a queen as Isabel of Bava- 
ria), and the kingdom ought justly to be his, God would be 
pleased to keep and defend it for him ; if not, to give him grace 
to escape without death or imprisonment and find safety in 
Spain or Scotland, where he intended in the last resort to seek 
a refuge. This prayer, known to God alone, the maid recalled 
to the mind of Charles VII, and thus is explained the joy 



THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 87 

" What hath she told him ? " whispered a lady to the 
chancellor. 

" Some remedy for the rot of sheep's feet," laughed 
the favorite at her ear. " Charles is a gentle king to 
please. But I wiU inquire, and bring you word of the 
wonderful token." 

"Who is that man with his mouth awry?" asked 
Jeanne of the deputies from Orleans in the crowd that 
the dauphin brought about her. 

" That is the chancellor of France, La Tr^mouille." 

"I would there were more of the royal blood 
gathered here, for that would be the better for 
France." 

Undismayed, she reviewed the knights and nobles, 
and in her mind estimated the value of each one. In 
an age of hand-to-hand combat the large, well-boned 
man promised best for fighting. Jeanne was a child 
in expression. She could not talk so that people 
would stand and listen to her from morning till night, 
as it was said a friar at Paris was then doing, but she 
had the sense of events. Insincerity was the Hfe- 
breath of this court, which the Queen of Sicily fre- 
quented only for her daughter's sake. Its intrigues 
and jealousies and secret histories could not lie plainly 
open to the maid from Domremy ; but she felt those 
tangles of human interests and petty spites, which 

■which, as the witnesses say, he testified whilst none at that 
time knew the cause. Jeanne by this revelation not only caused 
the king to believe in her ; she caused Mm to believe in himself 
and his right and title : 'I tell thee on behalf of my Lord that 
thou art the true heir of France and son of the Mng.' "— Wallon, 
tome i., p. 32. 



88 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC 

make the entire fabric of many lives, disturbing her 
large scheme. 

Because Charles showed that he believed in her, his 
ladies came near and talked to her, looking less at her 
man-at-arms shoes. The chancellor asked her how 
she fared across country, and if she had heard on her 
journey the secret she told the king. Alan Chartier, 
the court poet, carrying his lute, and with his sugar- 
loaf hat hanging at his back by ribbons, lounged at 
her elbow, half insolent with the license of the court, 
half fascinated by a face rapt with purpose as he had 
never seen face before. Ashamed, Jeanne looked at 
them aU, and wished they would quit making witty 
plays with words, and turn to the matter of Or- 
leans ; for, besides Charles and the deputies, there 
was no man in hall who willingly spoke of that be- 
sieged city. 

Jeanne knew her brother Jacquemine could make 
the family miserable by his fretf ulness. In a prince's 
household the tyranny of small over great natures 
was still the strange human law. Her first half -hour 
at court showed her how an insignificant man, rising 
by the power of his arrogance, could turn at will the 
fate of a kingdom. The coui-tier who had presented 
La Tr6mouille as her king jested less at her than at 
France. 

The audience ended, and Jeanne went back to the 
tower of Coudray. Morning and noon and night grew 
and brightened and darkened over the white stones of 
Chinon, and morning came again. She knelt in the 
chapel of St. Martin for hours at a time, while spring 
mists approached from infinite depths of sky to 



THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 89 

dampen the earth. The dampness became bold lines 
of rain, and threshed trees, streaming down walls and 
hissing against the buttressed heights. Almost before 
a downpour could thin, the sun broke through and 
printed a rainbow across the vaUey. The season con- 
tinued to advance, though affairs in the kingdom stood 
still. 

Bertrand took shelter at the foot of the outer stair- 
way, leaning against the open window where he could 
watch these gathering and passing rains, with dull 
interest in their frequency. The tall youth in page's 
dress whom he had seen hangiag about the chapel, 
and disapproved of as a spy upon Jeanne, entered 
boldly and made for the stairway. Bertrand took him 
by the collar, but allowed him to wrench himself loose 
and stand back. 

" What business have you here, young messire ? " 

" I am sent to the puceUe." 

" What 's j'^our message ? " 

" I will even deliver that myself." 

" I am her squire," said Bertrand. 

" And I am sent to be her page," said the other. 

"Who sent you?" 

"The king." 

"What is your name?" 

" Louis de Coutes." '■ 

Bertrand de Poulengy and LouisMe Coutes eyed 
each other without favor. 

" I am bid to wait on her," further declared Louis. 

1 Her page, Loiiis de Coutes, not Louis de Conte. (See 
" Grand List," or " Livre d'Or de Jeanne d'Arc," Biblioth&que 
Nationale.) 



90 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ABC 

" Also, if she hath aught to set down in writing, I can 
do that, for I have learned the clerk's trade." 

" You have learned the clerk's trade, have you ? I 
thank God, my trade is that of arms. I carry neither 
qnUl nor train of lady's petticoat." 

"No need to teU, messire squire, that you were not 
bred to courts. Panniers on your back, and wooden 
shoes on your feet— these are what you have carried." 

" Children are better taught in my country," retorted 
Bertrand, flushing red. 

" I am about four years younger than you are," cal- 
culated Louis, noting the squire's height and the down 
on his lip ; " but if you will go beyond the pit with 
me, where no one is likely to see us, we will settle this 
matter now." 

"There is more to you than I thought," Bertrand 
admitted. "I will not strike a man younger than 
myself. Go in graciously, and do your errand with 
the puceUe. If the dauphin sends her a page, it is 
none of her squire's business. But I would we were 
at OrMans, having some honest fighting, instead of 
lounging here against walls." 

"You are not like to go to Orleans soon. The 
pucelle is to be sent farther south, direct to Poitiers." 

Bertrand's solicitude, as keen as anguish, appeai*ed 
in his face. 

"Why to Poitiers?" 

" Has not Poitiers been the capital of the kingdom 
since the loss of Paris ? " 

" What has the pucelle to do with that ? " 

" The king hath been advised to send her there to 
be examined by bishops and learned doctors of the 



THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'ARC 91 

law. He would have their opinion on so rash a busi- 
ness as attempting to raise a siege by means of a maid. 
She is to come herself to the council-chamber, and take 
the word from his Majesty." 

The dowager Queen of Sicily, who had been the first 
person to accept Jeanne publicly in hall, was not the 
last in council to see^ that the daupliin would lower 
himself before Christendom if he hastened to make use 
of this peasant without throwing the responsibility on 
the church. Queen Yolande was an energetic woman 
whose nervous hands did not often lie quietly in her 
lap, but fluttered in front of her like butterfly wings, 
bearing up and carrying abroad what she volubly said. 
She wished her daughter, poor Marie of Anjou, firmly 
seated in the kingdom of France. And, benevolent 
though her nature was, she wished disgrace might 
overtake La Tr6mouille, who stood leaning against the 
chimney in Charles's council-chamber, meditating on 
his own private intrigues, and on nothing else. The 
deputies from Orleans were urgent to have the maid 
at once. 

" There are not at this time four pieces in the trea- 
sury, Messire de Beaucaire," said Charles to one of 
them. 

" However, there is always Jacques Cceur of Bourges 
to advance money," put in Queen Yolande, her fingers 
fluttering down to withdraw the robe from her ankle, 
which she warmed at the hearth-corner. Three fleurs- 
de-lis on the huge tablet of iron which lined the chim- 
ney-back glowed red-hot above the burning wood. 

" Jacques Cceur hath advanced much money already. 
The honest goldsmith may well laugh at securities 



92 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'ABC 

offered by this out-at-elbows court. We are not sliot 
at by the English here, Messire de Tilloy, but we are 
jeered at by all Christendom. "We would we had ten 
thousand men now on the march to Orleans ; but we 
have not the means to equip a single man-at-arms. 
And we would the doctors in Poitiers had already ap- 
proved of this maid as we do. But nothing is settled, 
and the affau's of this world cannot be hurried." 

"The peasant's sign made good speed with your 
Majesty," La TremouiUe said. " I would be glad to 
know that powerful sign myself." 

Charles smiled at his favorite without replying, and 
one of the deputies declared : " By St. Martin ! I would 
we had that other sign she promised to show before 
Orleans. Being sent in such haste, we are loath to 
go twenty leagues farther to Poitiers, and wait the 
slow deliberations of churchmen." 

" If we were shod like you, Messire de Beaucaire," 
said Charles, " we would ride to Poitiers with pleasure- 
But when a king's shoes grow shabby and thin, he 
has some shame about showing himself at his capital 
in them." 

"Has your Majesty pressingly commanded new 
footwear on account of going to Poitiers?" inquired 
the dowager. "I saw a man waiting in the ante- 
chamber as I came in, having shoes in his hand." 

" Let him present himself here at once, in Heaven's 
name," said Charles, lounging over an arm of his 
chair, and sticking his foot out lazily. "Is this fit 
gear for a king to wear in council? France is indeed 
down at the heel. But we have yet resources when a 
man who hath not been three times paid since the 



THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'ABC 93 

treaty of Troyes brings his wares, and patiently waits 
to have them tried on." 

Being permitted to enter, the Chinon shoemaker 
came to his knees before Ids sovereign with such 
slovenly disregard of ceremony as would have got him 
a beating in the court of Burgundy. It was the imper- 
tinence of a humble creditor toward a debtor of high 
station. Royalty had sat so long over the villagers of 
Chinon that they regarded its luster a mere character- 
istic of that region, like the whiteness of their stone. 

The Orleans deputies were impatient at Charles's 
dalliance over the fit of a shoe. He examined it well, 
and set his foot down with satisfaction. 

" Now put on the other, my man." 

"Not without my money, your Majesty," said the 
shoemaker. 

La TremouiUe laughed out loud at the crestfallen 
look of the sovereign of France. 

" Come, good fellow," argued Charles, " it is like to 
make your fortune to be shoemaker to the king. Put 
on my shoe." 

" It hath come nearer to making me a beggar. And 
I hold, your Majesty, that this shoe is mine until it be 
paid for." 

" But the long cannot be seen in one new shoe and 
one old one." 

" No, your Majesty ; that would be unseemly. But 
since you have no new one of your own, it may well 
be avoided." 

"You shall be paid, my friend. Go about your 
business." 

"Without doubt I shall be paid, your Majesty ; for 



94 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

I intend to go about my business hereafter only to tbe 
buyer who bath money to his pouch." 

Charles gave man and shoe a kick which sent them 
both half across the room. He thrust his foot into 
his old foot-gear, and his easy laugh followed the de- 
parting craftsman. 

" That settles the question of our going to Poitiers. 
"We must even continue to wear our old shoes. But 
we crave to have them greased. In a realm so im- 
poverished as this it is asking much ; but we do crave 
to have our old shoes greased." 

" The king is a fop," laughed his chancellor. " He 
would even have his shoes greased when there is scarce 
fat enough in the chateau to grease the chops of his 
household." 

"Not four pieces left in the treasury, and credit 
gone. A king that hath no credit with his shoemaker, 
what way can he turn ? " 

Charles lolled his head against the back of his chair, 
finding compensation in parading his poverty before 
the OrMans deputies. 

"Bring in that maid who declares we shall be 
crowned at Rheims, and it is the wiU of God the 
English be driven out of Prance. It hath been our 
wiU seven long years, though that availed nothing. 
How we are to be crowned at Rheims, across leagues 
of hostile country, or even transported there with 
suitable retinue, God he alone knoweth." 

" Did your Majesty hear," inquired Queen Tolande, 
" that the pucelle foretold the death of a soldier who 
met her at the gates, and that very hour he fell into 
the river and was drowned ? " 



THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AKC 95 

"We had not heard itj but let her at once foretell 
the death of Bedford and a few of oirr other BngUsh 
friends." 

" The story is quite true. She was heard by the 
beggars in St. George's Abbey. ' Dost thou jamedieu,' 
saith the maid, ' when thou art so near death ? ' And 
that same hour he fell in the river and was drowned." 

" What a waste of the material needed at Orleans ! " 
observed La TremouiUe. "I call your maid a har- 
binger of ill. It is only since she entered Chinon that 
the shoemaker refused credit and soldiers began to 
take to the river." 

" If she be a harbinger of HI, she will take from the 
chancellor of France his occupation," gently responded 
the queen ; " for things have gone from bad to worse 
ever since Messire la TremouiUe came to dwell at 
court." 

" She is the only person in this realm that hath ever 
brought a word of good news to Chinon. Let us have 
her in, to speak comfortably to us and console us for 
the shoemaker." 

Jeanne was already waiting in the antechamber. 
The guard let her pass, and her page threw open the 
door. As at her first audience, she went directly to 
the dauphin, and fell on her knees. He changed his 
lounging attitude, sitting erect, and bringing his 
shabby shoes together, unmindful of their shabbiness. 
At his left hand La TremouiUe leaned against the 
chimney; at his right knelt the maid who had told 
him the secret thought of his own heart. Her young 
face was worn and exalted by much suspense and 
prayer. Her innocent mouth and clear hazel eyes 



96 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

moved Charles's sluggisli religious nature as his con- 
fessor could not. 

" Gentle dauphin, do not hesitate to take the help 
sent from God by me. My counsel have bid me tell 
you that no other can do what I am sent to do, not 
even the daughter of the King of Scotland. Go on 
hardily. Charlemagne and St. Louis are continually 
on their knees for Prance. God hath taken pity on 
us. Be not dismayed." 

Charles raised her to stand beside him, and the 
envoys from Orleans drew nearer, feeling that attrac- 
tion which even her enemies owned. The room was 
filled with one presence. She was as guiltless of de- 
siring to please men as a statue on an altar, but she 
already transformed them by some indefinable power. 

"Jeanne," said the dauphin, "we have just told 
these friends thou hast brought us the only good news 
we have had in years. We have faith in thee ; but in 
order that others may have the same faith it is neces- 
sary to prove thee." 

"•Prove me before Orleans." 

" But you ask for men-at-arms and equipments to 
raise the siege of Orleans. There are people who 
would say, ' If she be sent by God, what need hath she 
of men-at-arms ? ' " 

"The men-at-arms wiE fight," answered Jeanne, 
" and God will give the victory." She laughed. " En 
nom D6, we must help ourselves if we would be 
helped." 

" Thou hast spoken truth there, pucelle," remarked 
Queen Yolande. " Money and provisions and succors 
are needed for Orleans. His Majesty should not ex- 



THK DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 97 

pect to have miracles wrought for him, though I my- 
self believe that, by the favor of the saints, miracles 
are about to be done." 

"Jeanne," said Charles, "the most learned men of 
the kingdom will be called to Poitiers. We think it 
wise to send thee there to be questioned by them." 

"What use is there, gentle dauphin, in setting 
learned men on to ask me questions 1 I know neither 
a nor b. I am sent, and my counsel have bid me go 
on." 

" Who are your counsel, Jeanne ? " 

" My voices." 

" Do you hear them continually ? " 

" One voice stays with me ; another comes and goes, 
and visits me often ; and with the third both delib- 
erate." 

She stood reserved, and after her words the room 
was full of sUence. Turning her eyes from the royal 
face, she could see through a window the sweep of 
Chinon valley, and she saw it blurred by rain and 
tears. The delay and languor and inquisitiveness 
and timid wisdom which must caU a conclave of 
bookish men to examine a plain message from Heaven 
astonished her. 

" En nom D6," said Jeanne, shaving tears from her 
cheek with her finger, and flinging them aside, "I 
shall have tough work there, but my Lord will help 
me." 




VI 



IVE weeks after Jeanne had been sent from 
Chinon to Poitiers lier brother Pierre and 
a ehurchman were moving southwestward 
through a wooded tract, with the inten- 
tion of resting that night at Loches. Their horses 
were jaded by a long day's march, and picked a way 
slowly through the light woods. Here the growth 
was not dense, but taU-stemmed and open. Long 
before the travelers rode down to the meadow through 
which the Indre flowed, they had gHmpses of it, a 
low-lying stream, full to its pretty green edges. 

Pierre felt his blood stirred like sap by the April 
air blowing in his face. All things are young in April. 
He scarcely owned to being worn by the journey, 
though it had been a haphazard one without guide. 
Sometimes they wandered leagues out of their course. 
There was not much food to be found through France, 
and more than once they had slept in the open air. 
The Augustine monk, whose hermit life had inured 
him to hardships, bore these privations as well as 
Pierre did. It was not by Pierre's own desire that he 
was in such pious company. Jacques and Isabel had 

98 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 99 

put him in charge of a pilgrim to Tours. Where 
Tours was they did not know, except that they had 
heard it lay in the Touraine country, and the holy 
St. Martin had once been its bishop. If it proved a 
far cry from Tours to Chinon or Poitiers, they felt 
they could better trust their youngest son to Heaven 
alone at the end of the journey than to courtiers 
through all the dangers. For messengers from Poitiers 
came weeks before to Domremy, making inquiries 
about Jeanne. The cur6 testified. ' Mengette was 
questioned, and women came running from Greux to 
speak a good word for her. Even the daughter of 
Widow Davide stood out and praised her early plaj'- 
mate. Jeanne was being examined at Poitiers by strict 
and keen men ; but if they thought to find her in ill 
repute in Domremy, where she was born, it was an 
impossible thing to do. A clerk took everything 
down in writing. Isabel and Jacques beheld this 
procedure without disapproval; but when Pien-e 
would have set out mth the returning company, they 
were positive against it. The season was yet too 
early. The envoys from Poitiers might be very grave 
men ; but there was a graver, a hermit of the Vosges, 
whom the cure knew to be about returning to Tours. 
Pilgrimages were very common even at the most un- 
settled times. Isabel herself owed her surname of 
Komee to a godfather who had made a pilgrimage to 
Eome. In the Lorraine country gray friars, or Fran- 
ciscans, were more in favor, being bound to the royal 
cause; but a black friar, especially one who had a 
name for sanctity, was better company for a lad start- 
ing to war than the best of courtiers. 



100 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

Pierre had carefully gathered all he could concem- 
iTig the route to be followed ; and it had entered Ms 
mind, if the friar gave consent, they might part at 
Loches. For at Loches one had only to follow the 
com-se of the river Indre north until it turned west- 
ward to be led a long way toward Tours. But Poitiers 
was to be found in the south. 

Moving as directly as they could through pathless 
woods, the friar jogging behind Pierre, having the 
hood of his black capote drawn over his head, and his 
eyes dropped to the ancient bed of the forest, they 
came where they could see freely, without passing 
sight through a network of trees, the open land and 
river, and cliffs beyond. A sweetness of leaf-mold 
came up with a penetrating quality like incense. 

Pierre knew nothing about Loches or the approach 
to it, but he turned and spoke over his shoulder: "If 
we have been directed right, Brother Pasquerel, that 
must be the donjon of Loches, far off yonder against 
the sky." 

" It is Loches," agreed Brother Pasquerel ; " but it 
is half a day's journey distant yet." 

" We have some hours before nightfall. Let us go 
down into the open fields, and find it by the nearest 
way the horses can take." 

" There may be some danger in leaving the cover 
of the woods before we are near Loches," suggested 
the friar ; but he followed his companion in the descent. 

"We are in the dauphin's country," said Pierre; 
"we are not on land overrun by the Enghsh." 

Loches's square mass of donjon, and the round 
points of its ch§,teau towers, mounted higher in the 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 101 

afternoon sky. A moist greensward lay under the 
horses' hoofs in the valley, and the Indre lapped its 
edges as if they were lips. Pierre was riding idly, 
wondering how far they must ascend this right bank 
to find a bridge into Loches, when the fiiar, who was 
measuring distance behind, grasped his bridle. PieiTe 
ttirned, and saw more than rising forest and winding 
stream-course. He saw a troop of men with glittering 
lances, still so distant that they seemed cast in one 
lump, with the particles moving, and the lances mere 
points of silver. But Pierre had seen men-at-arms 
ride in his own country. He could not tell if they 
wore armor. There was no sheen playing over the 
sm-face. During all his adventures with Brother Pas- 
querel they had not once encountered any of those 
freebooting companies which tormented France. It 
was not an unusual thing for little companies of 
French or English to ride far, on the chance of making 
swift, perilous attacks and bringing away prisoners. 
But Pierre could not believe that any English knights 
would venture beyond Orleans through the dauphin's 
country to Loches. He was for stopping his horse, 
but Brother Pasquerel dragged the bridle forward. 
Brother Pasquerel was a black friar, the robe most in 
favor with Burgundy; but those coming might be 
neither Burgundians nor Armagnacs, though wearing 
the badge of both. 

" Ride for your life, my son ! They are following 
us." 

" But who would hurt a friar, Brother Pasquerel ? " 

" I have not the desire to know ; and neither have 

you come into Prance to meet single-handed such a 



102 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

company as rides yonder. We should not have left 
the cover of trees until nearer Loches ; a monk and an 
unarmed lad— what can we do but flee ? " 

Pierre had no dread of the danger, and he spurred 
ahead, laughing. 

" When I tell Jehannette I ran from the first lances 
I saw, she may flout my coming to the wars as Jacque- 
miue does." 

Pierre's horse was the one his father had ridden to 
Vaucouleurs, large and sturdy for cart-drawing, but 
of little speed. The friar's was an aged beast lent him 
by the cure of Domremy. Pilgrims traveled afoot. 
Brother Pasquerel had taken to horseback on Pierre's 
account. As they pounded along turf, both refugees 
knew the pursuit was gaining, and that it would be 
impossible to reach the gates of Loches. Warmed to 
the race, Pierre gauged the brimming Indre. It was a 
narrow stream ; of its depth he knew nothing. 

" Draw up your robe. Brother Pasquerel," he cried, 
and dashed into the water. His horse sank to its neck. 
Pierre knelt on his saddle, with his wooden shoes clasp- 
ing the raised back, and helped the floundering creature 
swim by keeping its nose afloat. It shot across, and 
set fore hoofs on the opposite grassy brim. With a 
struggle and a shake they were out, and he pulled up 
Brother Pasquerel's horse by the bit. The Indre was 
no barrier, but they were now on the same side as 
Loches. Pierre did not ask himself what a maraud- 
ing band expected to strip from a friar, whose vow of 
poverty and manual labor was proclaimed by a habit 
which could be seen as far as the man, or from a peas- 
ant, whose ancestry guaranteed him Httle. He looked 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 103 

again, and this time could see the arms of the pur- 
suers. They were after any game, and what yielded 
little would he the worse used. 

The calcareous ridge on which Loches was built ex- 
tended miles northward, being the ancient barrier of 
the Indre. In places the rock became as sheer as a 
wall, with turf upon its roof, which rose terrace above 
terrace to table-lands ; or it receded in tail coves where 
caverns had been left by fallen masses. As Pierre and 
Brother Pasquerel rushed by in flight, they saw slab 
doors in the I'ock. Chimneys of stone protruded, and 
steps were carved up the face of the cliff, ascending to 
other doors and windows. The front end of a viUage 
packed securely in a mountain looked down on the 
passing world. The road here was printed with sheep- 
tracks. These cliff-dwellers had flocks and hidden 
folds. Pierre knew nothing about the rock-burrowing 
peoples of this southern province. He had not a long 
sight, like Jeanne, to distinguish doors and windows 
from the break in the forest where he had first seen 
the cUffi ; but the strangeness of such habitations did 
not touch him, for splash and yell in the direction of 
the Indre testified that the pursuit was nearly up. On 
his right hand a hole as large as a church widened its 
gloom. Pierre took to the cavern as he had taken to 
the river. Pieces of fallen rock lay before it. Under 
its roof he leaped from his horse, and Brother Pas- 
querel slipped from the saddle also. The openiug had 
doors. Pierre saw them folded back against the rock 
—strong slabs, riveted together with bolts of iron. 
He clapped them shut, and lifting a bar of oak which 
made him stagger, set it in sockets across both leaves. 



104 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

Daylight came over the top of this gate, but it was 
high enough to form a good defense. Lance-butts 
soon pounded it, and horses trampled outside. A 
jargon of words proved what mongrel herd demanded 
toll there. With oaths which made Brother Pasquerel 
stop his ears and Pierre harken with astonishment, 
they threatened fire and siege, and chopped the doors 
with axes. The oak was like rock. Pierre felt secui'C 
enough to glance behind him. A blacker gallery pen- 
etrated under the hill, and the odor, so well known to 
him, was that of a sheepfold. Above were jagged 
rifts, and in one place the earth had parted, showing 
a thread of sky. Brother Pasquerel sat down on a 
stone, pushing the cowl off his head. Heat glowed 
from his mild, dark face. Light above the barrier and 
through the upper chink sunk by grades of shadow to 
gloom along the rock floor and in hollows scooped by 
the wintei-'s action. The horses stood panting with 
their heads down, steaming from their plunge in the 
Indre. Pierre stroked the cart-horse's face. 

" Poor old fellow ! If my father ever hears of this 
ride, he will forgive thee for falling lame when Jehan- 
nette went away. But if they break down the doors 
and leave me here, do thou fall lame under them every 
time they bestride thee." 

The hard-breathing creature snorted, shaking froth 
from its lips, and out of the hill gallery came an an- 
swering whinny ; the cavern was a stable as well as a 
fold. Though ordinarily quick and resourceful on his 
own hills, Pierre wondered what he should do hand to 
hand with these troopers if the barriers gave way. 
A closed door is a fearful thing when we do not know 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 105 

the dread that lurks behind it, but much more fearful 
"when it is strained and shaken by recognized foes. 
Neither he nor Brother Pasquerel understood half 
that was said outside ; for it was the speech of mer- 
cenaries gathered from all parts of Europe. As in 
Paris a butcher had led mobs and ruled the city, so 
among these roving bands the strongest and bloodiest 
man became leader, whatever his nationality. 

Breathlessly watching the gates with eyes stUl 
blinded by daylight, neither of the two inside saw 
steps that were hewed in the cavern at the left of the 
entrance. Hearing a woman's voice, Pierre turned, 
and saw a door at the top of steps ; and there was a 
maid about Jeanne's age leaning out to look at the in- 
truders. If the sky had opened, or the cleft overhead 
parted wide, it would not have astonished him more. 
He noticed with instant receptiveness her high 
pointed head-gear, the like of which was unknown in 
his coimtry, the tight-fitting robe, and her bright hair 
shining where no sun glistened on it. Only the fair- 
haired were considered beautiful in the middle ages. 
This woman was as white as any saint, and Pierre 
took off his cap to her. 

" Who are you, and why have you come in here ? " 
she demanded ; and he thought of Jehannette's voice, 
though the tone was different. 

" "We be only Brother Pasquerel and Pierre d'Arc, 
and robbers outside drove us in." 

" Do you know they are threatening our lives and 
trying to break the house door down ? " 

" No, demoiselle ; we knew nothing of that." 

" Can't you hear their threats ? " 



106 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

" The speech of such people is strange to me, de- 
moiselle. I come from the march of Lorraine. Let 
me into the house, and I will keep the door." 

"Why don't you come up, then?" she impatiently 
cried. "You brought this danger at your heels, and 
there is n't a man to stand before us." 

Pierre mounted in haste, his wooden shoes bumping, 
and the friar followed. They were close to knocking 
their heads on the top of the room they entered, where 
the natural curves of rock stooped low like a scroll- 
work of clouds, but rose high in gray sweeps over the 
center of the large place. The door behind them was 
instantly barred by a peasant woman with a chUd on 
one arm. It clung to her neck in terror of the sounds 
at the front of the house, and she herself was wild-eyed. 
Straggling locks of hair escaped from her cap. 

" Oh, messires," she lamented, " if the good friar can 
pardon me for saying it, why did you take hiding in 
our sheepf old, when a little farther on is the cave of 
Roehecarbon, and his door hath stronger timbers than 
ours ! This comes of my husband not shutting the 
gates when he leads the sheep out. The demoiselle 
will be misused or carried off for ransom. Besides, 
my children are in the field overhead with their father." 

"Hush, Marguerite," said the demoiselle; "people 
cannot choose caves in times like these. Joseph will 
hide the children." 

" He may come to the chimney to speak to me, and 
the freebooters will drag him down." 

She knelt on the hearth and looked up the wide flue, 
her usual tube of communication with her husband at 
his labors. The child on her arm strangled with 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 107 

smoke, and she set it down, stretching her own lean 
neck over the coals to see if there was a face at the top 
of the stack. She called the man's name, and, failing 
to get any reply, sat down on the rock floor and leaned 
her head against the wall. 

Benches were piled against the front door. It looked 
as thick as the gate of a town, and was fastened by 
double bars. Above it two square holes were cut in 
the stone for air, and Pierre mounted the benches to 
see what his assailants were doing. The active de- 
fense feU on him, for Brother Pasquerel knelt in a 
corner, not permitted to do violence on man. Pierre 
had come into Prance weaponless, excepting a sheath- 
knife at his belt. There was not even an ax on the 
walls. In northern provinces when peasants were 
attacked they took to flight, but here they merely shut 
themselves in. Notwithstanding the noise, he felt the 
woman's terror was groundless. The boldest riders in 
the kingdom could not break through stone, and for 
passing over oak they must use something more pow- 
erful than lance-points and hatchets. Free-riders 
could not cumber themselves with implements for a 
siege. 

Brother Pasquerel quieted the woman and child, for 
both shrieked when an arrow, shot at random, passed 
through the opening near their single defender's head, 
struck the opposite rock, and fell to the floor. Hidden 
by inner darkness, he could see swarming about, or 
sitting on horseback and holding bridles below the long 
slope of rock waste, red-headed Scots, thick-limbed 
English, Burgundian spearmen, their rich trappings 
tarnished by a freebooting life, and unknown black- 



108 THE DAYS OF JEAI^NE D'AEC 

faced foreigners wearing smocks or blouses stripped 
from peasants,— such a company as war and famine 
and the license of the times drew readily together. 

A horizontal storm of arrows swept into the sheep- 
fold or against its oaken barriers. Near the house 
door was an opening which Pierre took to be a well, 
full cui-bed, and with a windlass and chain. While 
archers wasted a few bolts on the place where their 
quarjy had disappeared, men-at-arms swarmed to 
the well. 

" They no longer throw themselves against the door. 
Are they in retreat ? " the demoiselle inquired. 

" No," answered Pierre ; " they are taking to the pit 
of water. One tui-ns the windlass. These are mad 
feUows to drown themselves." 

The demoiselle cried out, and turned toward the 
inner room. 

" It is not a pit of water ; it is the mouth of Joseph's 
granary. They can come through the granary into the 
fuel-chamber behind this room." 

Pierre took no thought what he should do, but found 
himself in the fuel-chamber at the head of a dismal 
staircase, and his fist shooting like a battering-ram 
into the hairy face of an ascending man. As the 
body bumped down the stones he gathered up a log of 
wood and clubbed it for a weapon. A knife showed 
its livid blade in the dark, and he sent down another 
man. At that moment a pointed battle-ax struck him , 
and he heaved the log-butt forward at his next assail- 
ant. The hatchet dropped, and he took it. How many 
robbers were descending by chain and windlass to 
flank the house could not be known. Pierre leaned 



THE DAYS oV JEANNE D'AEC 109 

over the steps with the wide-edged ax ready, but no 
more came up. 

It was not because houses farther along the village 
had sent succor, for every door was barred by terrified 
women, and laborers hid themselves in the fields over- 
head. The demoiselle mounted the benches, and put 
her foot on a bar to look out. For some reason known 
to their own wild minds, the freebooters were drawing 
off and galloping on toward Loches. They might 
catch some unwary citizen outside the walls and pluck 
him before turning to other fields. It was not worth 
their while to dig or smoke out or take by assault 
through a cavern a friar and a few peasants. By 
squads, riding wildly, they trooped along the grass- 
lined road, and stragglers ran to mount. She saw the 
venturesome ones whom Pierre had knocked down 
di-awn out of the pit by the men at the windlass, con- 
soling themselves with little sacks of grain which they 
dragged after them. Bloody and limping, they also 
took last to horse. The sound of hoofs diminished 
and died away along the hUl toward Loches. 

She dropped down, declaring their flight. Pierre 
changed the ax to his left hand, and grasped that 
stinging place in his shoulder, which turned him sick. 
He braced himself by the side of the door, and the 
demoiselle saw red prints on the rock. 

The cave shimmered and went to darkness before 
his eyes. His first conscious sensation was maiden 
shame, because his shoulder was stripped naked before 
the demoiselle, and two thin scarlet lips from arm-pit 
to nipple poured their thin stream of blood. Some- 
body supported him on a bench, and it was the friar 



110 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 

who leaned over him oiling and bandaging. Soldiers 
wounded in battle had money distributed to them, and 
in one house or another they might seek surgery and 
tendance, paying each for his own hospital, for there 
were no military hospitals. Pierre knew none of the 
customs of war. He thought he smelt the flowers of 
the lime-tree in his mother's garden, and Jehannette 
was telling him she saw a vision through the pale 
yellow bunches. His ears hummed. He was glad to 
lie down with his head on a cushion and some covering 
over him. 

A long time afterward something touched his lips, 
and he roused to find it was bread soaked in water and 
wine. That was the food Jehannette liked best. The 
demoiselle sat on a stool in front of him, and picked 
pieces from a cup to feed him. Such kindness brought 
the blood into his face as if the fever had rushed from 
his wound, and he took the bites with great humilitj^, 
keeping his eyes cast down. Joseph, the peasant, and 
aU the children had come in from the fields on the roof, 
and they gathered behind the demoiselle, admiring 
everything she did. The oven-hole at the side of the 
chimney was open. Marguerite held on one hip the 
loaf she had taken from the oven, and on the other the 
baby, while she watched also. 

The elegant, slight shape of the demoiselle and her 
small hands were brought so close to Pierre's notice 
that he lay thinking how much clumsier was the make 
of a man. "Women of his own country had not taught 
him this. Without speaking a word, but like a 
mother, she fed him, and he accepted it as his sweet 
nature accepted every good. He had been born vrith- 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 111 

out anxieties. When he lay at night facing the open 
sky and thinking about his sister, it was the expectancy 
of youth which stirred in him, not the anticipation of 
calamity. 

Pierre dared scarcely look at the demoiselle, but he 
contrasted her in his mind with the Widow Davide's 
Haumette, who was very broad-featured and black- 
eyed, a maid fierce at dancing, flaming in her red 
petticoats, and more reluctant to go to mass than 
Pierre himself. Haumette used to Idss him when they 
were growing, for she was in love with young man- 
hood. But before Pierre left home she had gone to 
Goussaincourt to stay with her aunt; for there were 
stories in Domremy about a Burgundian soldier whom 
the Widow Davide had led out with practised thumb 
and finger, and not because of any noise he made. In 
Grreux the villagers held to Burgundy. Pierre had 
often headed the boys of Domremy against the boys 
of Greux. They fought on a strip of land between the 
two villages, and Jehannette cried over him when he 
went home bloody. 

" Now I think you had better go to sleep," said the 
demoiselle, after his last sop was eaten. Pierre will- 
ingly shut his eyes, not to let her or the present mo- 
ment slip from him, but to hide his weakness, of which 
he felt ashamed. 

Yet when a cow lowed down the chimney and waked 
him it was late in the night. The fire had sunk to pink 
ashes. Those blocks of open night over the door were 
lost in the cave's obliteration. He could hear the un- 
seen family snoring. The bench felt hard, and all the 
springs of the hiUs trickled tantalizingly in his memory 



112 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AKC 

while he thirsted. How sweet was the forest-shaded 
water at Bennont ! Did these cave-dwelling people, 
who turned a pit into a gi-anaiy, have a drop to cool 
their tongues with, except what flowed in the Indre ? 
He sat up, wincing at the angry beating of liis wound, 
and groped with one foot for his wooden shoes, which 
the friar had drawn off, intending to unbar the door 
and go down to the river. But Brother Pasquerel rose 
from the darkness and put a jug of water to his 
mouth. The jerking stream descended his throat until 
it was forcibly taken away. Then he began to shiver. 
His nurse raked open the ashes, and brought wood 
from the fuel-room, and drew the bench to the 
hearth. 

They both sat upon it, the old man holding the 
young one half reclining against his shoulder for sup- 
port and heat. 

"Where is the demoiselle?" inquired Pierre, in a 
whisper, loath to have her in that room mth so many 
sleeping peasants, yet alarmed at losing sight of her. 

" The man and his ivife took her on her horse to 
Loches before nightfall." 

" Why did you let them put her to such risks ? " 

" She herself commanded it, and the thing was very 
safely done." 

" Who is she. Brother Pasquerel ? " 

"I know nothing of her, except that she is lately 
come from Scotland, and this woman asleep in bed 
was once her mother's servant." 

" She is the whitest-favored maid I ever saw," said 
Pierre. 

" White or black, no woman hath favor of God who 



THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'ARC 113 

doth cany that cursed horn called the henmn perched 
on her head." 

" Was that a hennin, Brother Pasquerel 1 " 

" A hennin it was ; and when I behold one with my 
own eyes I cannot marvel that a friar has risen up to 
preach against the evil thing in Paris." 

Pierre had lost too much blood to be enlisted in the 
crusade against hennins. In the flickering room be- 
hind the friar and him the peasant's entire family 
were stretched in one bed, which extended a dozen 
feet beside the waU. There were green mineral stains 
up the throat of the chimney, which tongues of flame 
showed forth. Wind rumbled overhead. This was a 
strange shelter, yet Pierre felt better housed than he 
had been since leaving Domremy. He knew, what- 
ever lay before him, he would be homesick for the 
cave in time to come. He did not want to leave it, 
and said to himself it must have been the fight that so 
bound him ; for he did love that strip of land between 
Greux and Domremy on account of the honest giving 
and taking of blows there. "I have got my first 
wound in this house," reflected Pierre. 

"Have you seen the horses?" he inquired reluc- 
tantly. 

"Yes, and they are well fed and stabled. These 
people have a little grain to seU. The valley of the 
Indre is not a desert like the Solange." 

" It will be best for you to leave me here and push 
up the valley of the Indre toward Tours," suggested 
Pierre. " As for me, I must keep my face set direct 
toward Jehannette. I cannot carry this wound out 
of my way." 



114 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

"Neither wiH I leave you, nor wiU you leave me," 
overruled Brother Pasquerel. " Since it seems best to 
push on your way, we wiU go together. Can you ride 
to-morrow ? " 

" As well to-morrow as next day." 

" But you are weak from the blood-letting, and the 
wound will be sore." 

"A wound that hath cut through no bones will soon 
heal; and my mother says miracles are wrought on 
Jehannette's flesh and mine : no sore stays." 

"We wall, then, make what speed we can toward 
Chinon," said the friar; "and shorten the way by 
putting these hiUs behind our backs without going 
into Loches." 

It was easy to find a path through the ridge where 
the land dipped low, but nothing could shorten the 
day's journey for Pierre. They started at daybreak, 
with a sack of bread and a bottle of wine behind the 
saddle of each. Pierre's face was leaden in color. At 
noon the friar dressed his wound in fresh oil and 
bands of serge. The rough cloth hurt him. He was 
glad the air blew cool, for the hot blood bit his shoul- 
der all day, and oftener than they found springs he 
found a mighty thirst to quench. 

Man is such a little creature creeping so near the 
ground in the largeness of hills and woods and vaUeys, 
and his vision diminishes so soon to the vanishing- 
point, no wonder he loses his way. But the friar 
steered their course as nearly westward as he could by 
such landmarks as he had gathered from the untraveled 
cave-dwellers. Clouds came up behind the ground. 
The sky seemed to be driving and hurrying overhead, 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 115 

marshaling its vapors out of space, and sifting them 
from shape to shape to hurl along a low level ; yet if 
one did not look up, it was nothing but the ordinary- 
shadow of cloudy weather. Late in the afternoon a 
yellow storm appeared in the west, sulphurous and 
windy. It threatened much, but at first the rain which 
met the travelers was a fine mist in the face, so imper- 
ceptible that neither said, " It rains." Then long cur- 
tains hanging far down the sky and pendulous at the 
horizon swept upon them, beating fiercely. Water ran 
down their bodies and dripped from their stirrups. 
Pierre felt his wound washed through jacket and 
body-garment and bandages. "When the two were 
wettest the sun broke out, drenching the open land 
with prismatic radiance, and triple rainbows arched 
behind them. Their direct route had taken them past 
few inhabited spots, and these were remote to right 
or left. Brother Pasquerel began to turn his cowled 
face anxiously toward Pierre, for whom he desired 
night shelter. Wet grass and swarming vapors, and 
the head on the saddle under some bush, would be 
bad lodging for a wounded man. 

The sun went down, shining through a single tree, 
and seeming to cut it in two with fire. They rode on, 
making haste over unbroken land. Though spontane- 
ous growths were rank all about theii* horses' feet, the 
soil was so white that it showed pallid in,f ar-stretching 
distances, and kept daylight lingering upon it as 
marble might have done. 

In front of the riders appeared a figure with hands 
and face like an old peasant, almost covered by the 
pannier heaped high with lucerne which he carried on 



116 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

Ms back. He stood stiU. The fodder revealed a 
tender greenness througli the dusk. 

" We will ask that old man for lodging," suggested 
the friar. 

"But he carries a miraculous load," said Pierre; 
" there is no such green food for cattle at this time of 
the year." 

He changed before them, as they rode closer, into a 
dwarfed tree, strangely marked on the stem, its 
bunched top of switches thick set with tender leaves. 
But behind this poor apparition and beyond a fringe 
of trees, they saw for the first time something like a 
needle-point against the sky, and guessed it to be the 
spire of a church. Wherever there were churches 
there were men ; or if this proved to be a broken-down 
sanctuary,— and there were many such in the kingdom, 
—the travelers might find some gable or crypt stUl in 
condition to give shelter. 

Pierre felt indifferent to the landscape. He sickened 
with a growing faintness, and one spot of the dark 
world was the same as another. He wanted to lie 
down in the wet sward, and the friar had prevented it 
an indefinite time when they stopped close by a but- 
tressed wall. PieiTC braced himself with one hand on 
the moss of a down-sloping window-siU. It was a 
shame to leave a friar to tie the horses ; but when he 
had slid to the ground Brother Pasquerel helped him 
past buttresses and around a corner. A large portal 
let them directly into a white church, of which night 
seemed unable to take complete possession. 

Pierre lay down by himself on one of the rough, 
movable benches near the door. The massive stone 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 117 

font supported on a low pillar was near his head, and 
he stretched out his right hand for holy water, cross- 
ing himself with an exhausted effort. A little light 
shone out of one transept, but the body of the church 
was dim. He could see, however, the arms of some 
noble family painted on the wall opposite him, and 
also blots of green damp high up near the arches. 
Through tall, leaded windows the outside world seemed 
to affect this isolated church. Pierre could imagine 
the brightness of a sunny afternoon here. Wind 
rolled in the vault above with a swell like the incoming 
ocean tide; but to him, who had never heard that 
sound, it was the voice of the woods over Domremy. 
If Jehannette had sat on the bench beside him, or 
kneeled on the lower bench to which it was attached 
at the foot, he could scarcely have felt her nearer. 
Perhaps she had rested in this church ; some part of 
her remained there. And Pierre noticed by shadows 
made in the whiteness of the stones what hollows were 
worn along the center of the floor. Generations of 
lads' feet, in wooden shoes like his, had stumped by 
that path to confession or prayer. They and their 
sisters came here every Sunday. As his eyes grew 
used to the inclosure, and he rested from the pain of 
motion, the cold, high altar at the end of the church 
and the light in the transept were both forgotten. 
He saw a small altar diagonally opposite him, near 
the angle of the transept, standing dragged out froni 
the wall as if its displacement were temporary. On q, 
pedestal over the altar, so high that it caught the lasts 
glimmers of Hght through stone-framed glass above 
the portal, was a painted image as antique and simple 



118 THE DAYS OF JBANNK D'AEC 

as the Virgin at Bermont, a gilded, round-eyed St. 
Catherine holding a book, and having the broken 
wheel of her martyrdom leaning against her. The 
royal maid of Egypt wore a crown, and smiled in- 
sipidly. But under the figure was a dark gap left by 
the removal of two stones from the wall. The place 
was about breast-high to Pierre. 

The unstopped hole, left perhaps by workmen be- 
cause daylight failed, proclaimed that man was a near 
neighbor of this church. And presently he heard 
strange voices talking with the friar outside the door. 

" The houses from which you come, are they not the 
village of Fierbois ? " inquired the friar. 

" That is the village of Fierbois," was answered. 

"We have, then, reached St. Katherine de Fier- 
bois." 

" This is the church of St. Katherine. Is my brother 
a pilgrim to the venerable shrine ? " 

" Only a passer-by, for I return from a winter's re- 
treat in the mountains of the Vosges. A young man 
with me is lying wounded in the church; we met 
free-riders near Loches. Can we have shelter with 
you ? " 

"Assuredly," answered the other; then a louder 
voice spoke up : 

"This monk is of the convent in Tours. I know 
him by his habit, though the brethren have little to 
do with men of my craft." 

" Are you from Tours ? " inquired the priest, holding 
the door open for Brother Pasquerel to enter. " We 
have strange news from Tours." 

" The ai'morer has spoken the truth ; I am a brother 



THE BAYS OF JEANNK D'AKC 119 

of the convent of our order there. What news have 
you from Tours ? " 

The priest forgot the wounded man as he shut the 
last yellowness of daylight out, and a sudden accession 
of night entered the church with the three. A rustic 
acolyte came from the transept where the light burned, 
and set flame to the tips of two candles on the altar 
of St. Katherine. These white points in a hollow of 
gloom surrounded by white walls made visible a small 
space where peasants would kneel for evening prayers, 
and showed the eagerness of two of the three figures 
now occupying that space. Their lower parts were in 
a stratum of dimness, churchmen's cassocks and ar- 
morer's legs being lost beneath the starlike height of 
the candles. The priest pointed to the hoUow behind 
the altar. His low voice made echoes in remote 
corners. 

" There, this day, a miraculous sword was found. 
"We are leaving the altar removed from its place and 
the stones yet on the floor, that people may see where 
the sword was embedded. There it has lain, tradition 
saith, since Charles Martel drove the heathen back 
from Tours." 

"Wbere is it now?" inquired Brother Pasquerel; 
and the waiting acolyte, obeying a sign from the 
priest, went into the transept, and returned with a 
slim, large-handled blade. It lay upon cloth of gold, 
which covered his hands, and the three heads bent 
over it. 

" There be no such swords as this in the world to- 
day," said the armorer. "That blade is no longer 
forged. I wish I knew the man who made it ; I would 



120 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 

give him plenty of employment. Mark you, here are 
five crosses below the handle, just as the maid said 
there would be." 

" He speaks of the maid who sent him here to take 
this sword from the wall," explained the priest. " It 
has been guarded on the altar of our Lady while a 
suitable scabbard was made. When we took it from 
the hoUow it was crusted with rust ; but that fell away 
as a scale, and left it shining as you see." 

"What maid sent for it?" inquired Brother Pas- 
querelj and Pierre listened, feeling his breath come 
and go Kke the swell and ebb up in the arches. 

"She is called Jeanne the pucelle," answered the 
armorer. " AH Tours is astir about her, and an army 
is gathering to march with her to Orleans." 

" It is the maid who passed St. Katherine de Fier- 
bois on her way to the king, and heard three masses 
in this church," answered the priest. "That is the 
news we have from Tours— a maid is to lead the armies 
of France. And she had miraculous knowledge where 
to find the sword of Fierbois; for we might have 
leveled the walls in the search, but for her exact mes- 
sage. No living person knew where that sword was 
buried." 

" I had my orders from the king to make her a com- 
plete suit of mail and furnish her in aU needful arms," 
declared the armorer; "but no sword would do ex- 
cept this. 'You will find it in the waU,' saith she, 
'under the feet of the statue above the altai- at the 
angle' of the transept.' And I thought to have my 
journey for my pains, for she hath a soft, innocent 
face. But, mark you, her unlettered tongue could 



THE DATS OP JEANNE lyABC 121 

answer better than the great doctors at Poitiers could 
propound. They say it was a fine sight to see her 
sitting alone before so many, and bearing their strait 
examination with such sense and patience. The doc- 
tors have sent abroad a letter to aU parts of Prance, 
commending her employment by the king ; and during 
my whole life my trade hath never been so brisk as 
she hath made it within a week." 

" Have you not heard of this maid among the hills 
of the Vosges ? " inquired the priest. 

" Yes ; I have heard of her. We were on her track 
to Chinon or Poitiers, not knowing she was already 
in Tours. It is her brother who sits there wounded 
beside the holy-water font." 



VII 




ERTRAND DE POULENGT grasped the 
handle of a chain which hung beside the 
closed gates of the Augustine convent to 
ring for admission, when one gate-leaf 
opened, and Pierre d'Arc came out. Made resplendent 
by the dauphin as one of the household of the pueeUe, 
in hose and tunic of new cloth, burnished cuirass, 
with hat and plume, with leather shoes so light that 
his feet seemed winged, with hatchet in girdle and 
sword hung at his side, Pierre's handsome figure was 
conspicuous on the street. The narrow Rue des Halles 
had received its fullness of morning Hght, and every 
round small stone of the paving shone warm and dry. 
There was a bright grayness about Tours even in 
cloudy weather, but when the sun shone out it was a 
dazzling city full of joyful stir. 

" Eh ! I was about to demand you of the friars," said 
Bertrand ; " everything is so forward that the troops 
will move to-morrow instead of next day. The pueelle 
is about to ride out and review them. The horses are at 
the door, and oflcers are waiting to escort her. Make 
haste, sluggard ! Touf are too soft with the churchmen.' 

122 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE IVAEC 123 

" I have some excuse in this half-healed cut that I 
still cany ; but I stopped also to confession this morn- 
ing," said Pierre. " Since Brother Pasquerel has been 
appointed my sister's confessor— and glad I am it is 
that good man one can love instead of some others I 
have seen in this convent— he has fixed his eyes on 
me in a way I cannot bear. It does go against me to 
be righteous, Bertrand. I cannot stand up to it. How 
do you stand it yourself ? " 

"I ought to be a friar," responded Bertrand, with 
irony ; " a monastic Mfe would bring out virtues that 
are now hid in me." 

Pierre rested his arm on his friend's shoulder as they 
walked. " Yon are not the man you were, lad ; your 
cheek has thinned and your eye has grown deep. 
Sometimes I have qualms myself in this strange 
eountiy. If it were not for the fighting ahead, I could 
wish we were all children again, watching the cattle 
hid in the island." 

" It is the new squire that saps my cheek. By St. 
Martin ! I am tired of these multitudes of men. At 
Chinon we must have a page— one of these fellows 
with a quill behind his ear, but quick with his sword 
and his cursed tongue — you have seen the varlet ; and 
now we have the equipage of a noble added— two 
heralds, two servants, a steward, a confessor, and an- 
other squire. The heralds, the servants, the steward, 
and the confessor I am, by prayer and fasting, able to 
embrace," said Bertrand, speaking with bitter delibera- 
tion ; "but damn the other squire ! " 

Pierre turned his laughing gray eyes affectionately 
on his friend's bunch of light hair. Bertrand's hair 



124 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 

jutted heavily forward, breaking into a curled mass at 
the front. From crown to nape he was shorter than 
from forehead to chin. It was the habit of his hat to 
creep backward, uplifting its edge like a halo. 

"Lad, I do love thee, and I invoke the saints that 
my sister may not reform thee as well as the troops. 
Concerning the following they give her, she has no 
desire for it. The dauphin does it to show her honor. 
Brother Pasquerel teUs me. It is the customary suite 
of a person of dignity in arms. Soldiers and merce- 
naries might hold her in slight regard if she had less." 

" From a good knight like De Metz of Novelopont I 
can take commands," pursued Bertrand; "but this 
squire, who is put over me because he is older, he is 
my chief trouble ; I have no other." 

Pierre tightened his arm on Bertrand. They were 
not the only pair moving linked in a half-embrace. 
Tours was alive with roaring fellows, even at that 
morning hour inviting everybody to go where drinking 
was good, for pure joy that the troops were to march 
so soon. They walked in the center of the paved 
street, giving way to companies of horsemen, who 
forced them often to the doors of overhanging house- 
fronts. Shouts and the cHnk of armor and the rattle 
of bits filled the town. From the direction of the 
river-wall came that tinkle of hammers on metal which 
told that aU the armorers of Tours were working all 
hours of the day until late spring twilight, and the 
credit of Charles of France among their craft was un- 
limited. The miraculous maid was now security 
enough for her sovereign. She had aU the strength 
of heaven behind her. Men ran out of their shops. 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 125 

and women leaned out of their windows, to see her 
ride by in steel armor so Tburnished that it was as white 
as light, her spirited horse, which had been given her 
by one of the nobles that now flocked to court, con- 
trolled by a skilled hand. Every day she practised 
arms and tilted at quintain, a figure so balanced that 
it must be struck fairly or overthrow the rider. And 
there was also money to pay now for the equipment 
of an army. Troops were gathering at Blois, the next 
important town between Tours and Orleans. Yolande 
of Sicily had found the open hand of Jacques Coeur of 
Bourges more generous than ever on account of the 
maid's fame. 

At the western end of the street stood St. Martin's 
great church, flanked on one corner by a square gray 
pile called the tower of Charlemagne. Its flying but- 
tresses framed segments of a gauzy sky. Bertrand 
and Pierre threaded their way around its side and be- 
yond the western portal. Within sight was the town 
house of Jehan Dupuy, the seignior of Roche-Saint- 
Quentin,^ whose wife had guardianship of the maid in 
Tours. The seignior of Eoche-Saint-Quentin was 
Queen Tolande's man of affairs. His wife had been 
the playmate and friend of Marie of Anjou. The 
dauphin thought of no better place for his approved 
agent while the troops were gathering than the house 
of this faithful vassal. 

Horses and varlets waited about the large portal. 

Before ascending the stairs to the upper room where 

Jeanne received people who came to see her, Pien-e 

had formed what he wished to say to his friend. He 

1 M. Henri DesWguil, Tours, 



126 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 

had a lairge unconsciousness of self. Two or three 
days had accustomed him to military dress. His good 
■will extended to all the human race, and the curious 
stare of the -waiting servants passed over him without 
his feeling it. He bent his head closer to the other's 
ear ; his dark-lashed eyes were serious. 

"Bertrand, if you had not been with Jehannette 
when she left Vaucouleurs, nothing could have kept 
me from following her directly. I did not know the 
other men ; but I knew you, and it made my mind 
quite easy. Let the dauphin put an army of squires, 
pages, and servants about her; who can ever be 
trusted as you are?" 

The shorter man looked up at Pierre, his face flush- 
ing almost to tears, and whitening instantly imtil the 
skin looked drawn on his features. 

"My spirit is breaking, Pierrelo. It grows worse 
and worse with me. I 'm glad you 've come to put 
some manhood into me again. When we were in 
Poitiers, and people yet doubted her, and she had to 
sit and answer all kinds of puzzling questions put by 
learned men, and there was a chance of her being 
turned back from the dauphin's service, I thought my 
heart would break if they refused her ; but now that 
she has been accepted, and everybody is crowding 
after the pucelle, I cannot endure that. Take me to 
some convenient place, and knock me on the head with 
your ax, Pierrelo. I am a poor creature." 

"You are the best fellow I ever knew," declared 
Pierre ; " and when we have something to do besides 
waiting in lodgings for the march upon Orleans, it 
wiU be better with you." 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKO 127 

They entered "witli the freedom of attendants the 
large upper chamber where Jeanne was busy with 
ofllcers, and the lady of Roche-Saint-Quentin sat by 
with her embroidery. Pierre's figure fell into the at- 
titude of waiting. He folded his arms, and watched 
his sister's back and the short hair flying above her 
tunic. He had noticed that her language was softened, 
but there was change in her which life among the 
courtly and learned could not make in a few weeks. 
She was now the strangely commissioned virgin of 
war, whose business was larger than he could yet 
comprehend. Yet when he had come into Tours, 
sick and sore, beside Brother Pasquerel, and met her 
riding with the young Duke d'Alengon on a prancing 
horse which that nobleman had given her, shining in 
her burnished armor through the midst of a company 
like a pageant, she cried to her brother, " Oh, Pierrelo ! " 
and spurred up close to throw her mailed arms around 
his neck. She was his same dear maid, but with every 
motion of this new spirit showing in her face. Pierre 
had no trafi&c with heaven himself, except in the 
heartiest and most animal way, and he felt astounded 
by the solid results of visions. For he had expected, 
at the best, little more than permission to march on 
foot with his sister to Orleans, and indulgence to break 
the head of any man who insulted a maid-at-arms ; 
but he found her the autocrat of an army, dictating 
with the power of the church to old soldiers. 

One of the two with whom she conferred was a 
coiirtier, a tall, thin-nosed man, who said little, but 
examined her with constant scrutiny. He leaned 
against the wall, holding his plumed cap at his side, and 



128 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

crossing his feet, mth one long shoe resting on its point. 
It was his friend who talked— a short and bristling man, 
whose person seemed compressed lengthwise to enor- 
mous strength. This was fitienne de Vignolles, who 
always spoke of himself as La Hire, and never clartned 
his particular body and soul with the pronoun I. The 
two men were inseparable. In all their experience of 
war, it was the first time they had been moved by the 
thrill of a young voice declaring in their ears : 

" We must clear the camps of sin. If we are to be 
terrible to the enemy, it must be through religion. 
Can God go before an army that continually blas- 
phemes his name? When I rode among the troops 
yesterday, and forbade their cursing, they said, 'If 
Messire La Hire will stop it, we will stop it also.' " 

" The varlets felt safe in promising that," remarked 
La Hire, winking aside at his tall friend. " La Hire 
hath the best name in France for a plump oath that 
fills the mouth from jowl to jowl and tongue to roof; 
and it doth taste as sweet as meat, pucelle." 

" La Hire would burst if he could not swear," said 
the tall knight. 

" Yea ; Poton knows La Hire well. Eef orm Poton 
de Xantrailles. He is a mannerly man, and would 
repay the labor it cost to make him a Christian." 

" I often curse the bad habits I learn of La Hire," 
said the tall knight. 

" But he is a bride to me," declared La Hire. "La 
Hire would be glad to curse for Poton and himself 
both, and save Poton the sin." 

" You must not swear." Jeanne's voice was silver, 
but it went through hearers Uke iron. 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC 129 

" Oh, pucelle, do let La Hire swear ! It is impos- 
sible—" the stout warrior threw his hands from side to 
side. "La Hire was born swearing, as other babes 
were born squalliag, and he must swear." 

"You can say 'En nom D6,'" suggested Jeanne, 
"which is the same as a prayer in my country." 

" Oh, if La Hire began with the name of God, he 
would never stop while there was a saint left in the 
calendar. Let him swear, pucelle. He can jarnedieu 
an Englishman speechless, though with their poor 
rough language the EngUsh do swear as well as they 
can." 

" No ; you shall not have leave even to jarnedieu in 
the army of God. If swear you must, swear by this 
rod I hold in my hand. No harm can come of swear- 
ing by a baton carried by a maid." 

" Swear by nothing but a stick when heaven is full 
of good, mouth-filling stuff ! ' Oh, puceUe ! " groaned 
the culprit. " La Hire would not lay a stick in thy way, 
but thou hast put one in his. Oh, by my baton ! " 

He turned Hke a bull in distress toward the two 
young men, grinning in wrinkles of sun-hardened 
flesh; and Jeanne turned also, laughing, but with a 
rainbow laugh made partly of tears. The entreaty 
swimming in her eyes, and the swelling of her inno- 
cent throat, brought La Hire to the baton as no fanatic 
command could have done. In his heart he did revere 
her as a saintly chUd. She moved before the troops, 
a mysterious presence lent for a purpose. There was 
at that time such brutal license in the camps of Europe 
as gentler races are now incapable of. " Men-at-arms," 
says a chronicler, " resembled mercenaries badly paid 

9 



130 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

by the king. Eape, incendiarism, assassination, cost 
them little ; blasphemy cost them nothing." Yet such 
men had their adorations. The habits of the pucelle's 
life were talked of among them. She would not re- 
ceive or have speech with anybody after sunset, and 
a woman always slept in the same chamber with her. 
The lady of Roche-Saint-Quentin remained beside her, 
except when she rode out to practise horsemanship in 
the sight of the troops. 

Jeanne's armor lay piled ready upon a table, where 
the sun struck it, making bosses of fire, and turniag 
the many diminishing plates of the fingers into 
gauntlets of sparkles. She put herself directly in the 
hands of her squire to be armed, but Bertrand had 
not taken up a piece when she remembered to summon 
the men after her through a door at the end of the 
room. It led into one of the carved cabinets of that 
period, a narrow place, with one entire side of leaded 
glass, containing a long bench or table. On this was 
stretched a banner of the white linen then so uncom- 
mon in France that garments of it were considered 
treasures of royalty. On the surface lying uppermost 
was painted a figure like our Lord's, seated on a rain- 
bow, with clouds underfoot, holding the globe in his 
hands. The name " Jhesus " was emblazoned in letters 
of gold. Jeanne lifted the banner in both hands and 
displayed the other side, where two kneeling angels 
each offered the Virgin a Hly. Golden fleurs-de-lis 
sprinkled the white ground, and the name "Maria" 
shone there. It was to be supported haJf its length 
by a rod along the top fitted into a spear. 

" Here is my standard," said Jeanne ; " it has been 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 131 

painted exactly as it was commanded. And the 
daughter of Messire Paure/ the painter, has helped 
me with the needlework." 

De Xantrailles examined the work with his mocking 
courtier's smile, and said to her : 

"It is a pity to lose hands from the tapestry that 
can set stitches like these." 

" There are enough women left in Prance to sew and 
spin," answered Jeanne, seriously. " Though I thank 
God my mother taught me to handle needle and dis- 
taff as well as any maid in our valley." 

La Hire took between finger and thumb the sacred 
fringe edging the banner, which Bertrand looked at 
without touching ; but Pierre's eyes went past it to a 
maid sitting at the end of the room stitching a white 
pennon. She was the demoiselle he had seen in the 
cave house at Loches. 

Pierre was not bold enough to claim her notice, and 
she sat without lifting a glance from her needlework, 
small hairs above her ears stirring in the air which 
came through an open pane. Hid like something 
precious in this inner room, she held herself aloof from 
aU the men alike; but when Jeanne approached her, 
the pair talked eagerly together in familiar tenderness 
that warmed Pierre's imagination. He was able to 
picture to himself their hours of stitching and talking 
in this nest of carved wood and glass overlooking an 
old garden, while the lady of Eoche-Saint-Quentin sat 
guarding them in the outer room. How a painter 
who had accepted from the dauphin twenty-five livres 

1 " Her standard was executed after her instructions by a 
Scotch painter, James Power, resident in Tours."— Maeius Sept. 



132 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

tournois for painting this standard could be tlie father 
of a demoiselle puzzled Jeanne's brother less than it 
would have puzzled a courtier. For Pierre neither 
poverty nor rank existed. Enough to eat and to 
wear, hiUs, valleys, and cattle for a possession, and 
vineyards as well, had been the rule of his life. There 
was no superior to bow to except the cur6, and one 
bowed to the cure for religion's sake only. The divine 
right of kings was then part of every man's creed, and 
if the dauphin had crossed his path, he would have 
dropped to his knees before that earthly deity; but 
Pierre knew his sovereign only by hearsay. 

"This is Pierrelo," said Jeanne, showing him to 
her friend; "he is almost cured of the wound he got 
in Loches." 

It seemed to Pierre Hke a story of fairy work that 
he should meet this demoiselle in Tours, and it gave 
him a sense of greater things to come ; for towns even 
in the same kingdom were then as remote from one 
another as continents now are. He thought about her 
all that day, and the few words she spoke to him as if 
she had forgotten feeding him bread and watered 
wine at Loches. The Scots were a cold people; but 
when he took opportunity to ask his sister more about 
her, nding through the camp, he found that the Scot's 
daughter was also French. 

The Loire, the longest river in France, was then 
Charles's northern boundary, and Tours is on the south 
bank. The troops were to march along the north 
shore and join the main army at Blois. They had 
camped in the vineyard country, a good league on 
their way. Provisions and cattle, which Touraine was 



THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'ABC 133 

sending for the revictualing of Orleans, streamed all 
day along the road leading to camp ; for the convoy 
was to move next daybreak. 

Pierre loved the Loire better than any other sight 
in Tonrs. It was a stream of promise coming down 
from Orleans, the city of battle. The full volnme of 
spring rolled in its bed. Scarcely a shallow was left 
in the wide expanse, though no river inclined more to 
shy around rocks, or pay its transparent silver pieces 
over shelves of gravel. There were meadows within 
its ancient barriers. An embankment along its 
northern shore from Blois past Tours to Angers had 
existed since Carlovingian times, and the mighty river 
was further girdled in by a range of tower-like cliffs, 
where house-doors, seen from the city, showed as dark 
rabbit-holes; for in this calcareous rock people had 
burrowed when the Romans entered Gaul. 

Pierre galloped back from the camp toward Tours 
about sunset, having been left by the pucelle to bring 
her a last word from the troops before the gates 
closed. The Loire was then a pink-and-yellow glory 
at its western disappearance. Shifting islands in the 
channel, gigantic compared with the channel of the 
Meuse, looked warm in the dispersing glow. Women 
in the cave houses yet appeared at their open doors, 
and the heads of peasants in the fields on the cM-top 
sometimes showed against the sky. Nearly all the 
convoy had reached its destination for the night, 
though a few belated carts were yet to be seen, and 
the last straggling men were hastening on foot from 
Tours. As cliffs darkened and river dimmed, the cave 
houses closed, and became by means of their air-holes 



134 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 

a long constellation of little stars. Aiead of him, 
Pierre saw two men seizing a woman— a small crea- 
ture carrying a basket on her arm, and wearing a 
peasant's cloak and petticoat and shoes, and convre- 
chef over her head. She screamed when the men 
made their onset, but struggled against them without 
a word, a solitary creature between inhabited bluffs 
and lonesome river. Pierre spurred at them in such 
rage that he felt he should split them to the breast- 
bone. Something about the timid figure reminded 
him of Mengette. But they dropped her cloak and 
took to their heels in dismay, for men of the camp al- 
ready began to know him. 

" It is the brother of the puceUe ! " 

He wheeled to chase them, but thought better of it, 
and reined in his horse and leaped ofE. The woman 
had picked up her cloak. She threw it over her 
tumbled bright hair and head-cover, shuddering away 
from Pierre's side, while he had not a word to say, 
for the fading sky showed him that she was the de- 
moiselle Power. At that moment she was the safest 
woman in Touraine. 

The demoiselle tried to laugh, her under lip stiU 
quivering. Pierre saw how young she was. The 
hennin and feminine hardy-coat had given her dignity 
which she lacked in peasant clothes. These garments 
brought her close to him, as if there had been old ac- 
quaintance. His passion for this half -foreigner began 
then, with the Loire and the twinkling cliffs and 
evening sky as its witnesses. 

" I am much beholden to the brother of the pucelle," 
she said when she could command her breath. 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 135 

"Let me lift you to the saddle," Pierre urged; 
" there be other varlets on the road di'unker than the 
last." 

" No ; they "will note me more on the saddle than on 
the ground." 

" But I will walk beside the horse's head, demoi- 
selle." 

"In that case they will pelt me with words worse 
than stones." 

" En nom De, demoiselle, what shall I do ? " 

" The road was never so bad before, and I was never 
so lafce. If you can come with me to St. Martin's well, 
and then let me walk near the horse while you ride 
back to Tours, I shall be safe." 

" Let you walk while I ride ? I cannot." 

" Then I shall have to beg some woman in one of 
these cave houses to take me in imtU morning, as I 
had already thought of doing, for the gates of Tours 
will be closed ; but to-morrow I may meet other varlets 
on the road, and you will be gone with the troops." 

Pierre felt the fact shock thi-ough him— he would be 
gone with the troops. 

" I wiU do your bidding, demoiselle." 

" Then let us make haste to St. Martin's fountain." 

The necessity of human company kept her not far 
before him as they turned their backs on fields and 
banks of sand which made the ancient beach of the 
Loire. Down a lane burrowing along the cUfE-side, 
with trees and rocks betwixt it and the highway, Pierre 
and his horse followed the demoiselle. She came to 
an oblong of darkness in the mountain base, which 
could be entered by descending many rude steps. 



136 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ABC 

Pierre tied his horse, and descended the steps with 
her. She took out a key and unlocked a gate at the 
bottom. There was a cold pavement of rock under 
their feet. 

When she had unlocked the gate, some perception 
of her own unusual conduct made her turn upon him. 

" Do not enterhere with me." 

" I thought you wished me to enter with you, demoi- 
selle." 

Bareheaded, Pierre ascended the steps to wait ; but 
she called him, a child's fear of the dark in her voice. 

" I cannot go in there with you, and it is so dreadful 
to go into the dark alone." 

" Let me go in for you, while you remain outside." 

" No ; you do not know the place, and you would 
walk headlong into the well. It is sheer rock, and 
though the pebbled bottom be white as milk and the 
water Kke crystal, it would close in darkness over your 
head." 

" Then it is no safe place for a young maid to ven- 
ture after nightfall." 

" This is the first time I have so ventured. I have 
been all the afternoon hiding from noisy villains along 
the road from Tours. The woman who keeps the key 
of this gate, and opens to pilgrims, had gone up to 
labor in the fields over the houses, and I was obliged 
to follow her." 

" Why did she not come with you ? " 

" I do not pay her. She is kind to let me have the 
key, and risk its lying under a stone after I have again 
locked the gate." 

The demoiselle took her basket from her arm and 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 137 

gave it to Pierre to hold. He had not meddled with 
it before, and he hardly allowed himself to see what 
it contained. She took out four wine-flasks, all fas- 
tened by their necks to a long loop of cord, and bade 
him set the pannier on a step. Above them in the 
zenith was yellow twilight, deepening its shadows to 
the dusk rocks about them. Her eyes, he saw, being 
near them, were black ; her skin had a white pallor as 
she faced him. 

" I do not know how to govern myself ; my mother 
is dead. On one side is my mother's noble family, 
who are not dear to me ; on the other side is my father, 
who loves me. When we were in Scotland we lived 
simply like peasants, but when we come back to France 
everything I did there seems wrong. It is very puz- 
zling. Did you ever try to obey two laws of con- 
duct?" 

Pierre shook his head. " One law of conduct hath 
been more than I could master, demoiselle." 

"Yet I think," she reflected, "that my father and 
my grandmother and aunt De Beuil would agree in 
this matter, that the pucelle's brother might lay hold 
on my hand to keep me from falling into the holy 
well of St. Martin." 

" They would certainly be agreed," afflrmed Pierre. 

She relaxed, and drew a long breath of relief. 

"We must therefore enter the cavern together. 
Please hold my hand." 

In that primal blank of darkness safety became the 
first himian instinct. She slid her feet obliquely for- 
ward, holding his fingers with her left hand. Pierre 
had taken off his mailed glove. He felt with joy her 



138 THE DAYS OF JEANNE IVARC 

reliant clutch as the smaU nails set themselves into his 
flesh. The demoiseUe paused. 

" I am glad you came in here with me," she breathed, 
and her low voice woke sounds in the blackness. 
" PUgrims have walked on this cold stone barefoot to 
holy St. Martin's weU ; but even at midday, when the 
place is only a chamber of gloom, I dread it. The 
peasants say there are seven martyrs, who all perished 
in one day, lying far back ia this cave. They call that 
portion the Grotto of Seven Sleepers. But I am afraid 
of hearing bones rattle." 

She recoiled, and Pierre steadied her with both 
hands. 

" I was standing on the brink." 

"Let me draw the water," he urged; "I see the 
fountain." 

He was answered by the splash of the bottles, which 
she had already lowered. The jerking gurgle of their 
drinking necks could be heai'd until they sank, and all 
the time the cavern was dawning to sight, from its sky 
of rock to the mouth of the fountain beside the left 
wall. Beyond there was nothing but black negation, 
a huge place choked as with thick substance of night. 

"They are full," said the demoiseUe, bringiag her 
dripping bottles to hand. "WiU you taste of St. 
Martia's weU?" 

" I will drink after you.'' 

She touched a bottle to her lips, and gave it to him. 
"Make haste! It is almost night, and the gates of 
Tours will be closed; but yon will be blessed for 
making this pilgrimage and drinking in the cave." 

" I am blessed already," said Pierre. " In my whole 



THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 139 

life I shall never again drink such water. If we came 
here every day it might make a good Christian of me." 

She stopped the bottles, and put them in her pannier, 
and locked the gate, hiding the key under a stone by 
the top step. Pierre was for carrying the pannier, 
but she commanded him: 

"Mount, and leave the pannier to me. It is my 
safeguard. Ride a few steps behind me. I shall be 
safe if you ride near me through the city gates. They 
will be closed, and I may have trouble there." 

" It is a long walk." 

"The journey is nothing to me. I come twice a 
week, because my father is not able to make the pil- 
grimage, and he requires the water for a malady of 
the stomach." 

" Does he send you thus ? " 

" He does not send me at all. He thinks I pay one 
of these peasants to carry it to him; but we are too 
poor, and it is too hard for my father to get money 
for me to give it foolishly to peasants when I can come 
here myself. I have been here four or five times, and 
there was never danger for a woman in these clothes 
until the troops began to gather. My old nurse in 
Loches gave my father these shoes and petticoat, and 
I often put them on when he wished to make pictures 
of peasants, and so thought of wearing them to this 
fountain. I never had anything to wear in my life," 
confided the demoiselle, " except what belonged to my 
mother; and grandeur is not as fit for me as these 
things of Marguerite's." 

In the wide dusk and among broken rocks her small 
figure looked very small, and her miniature face too 



140 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

fine for lowly carriage along the flinty road. Pierre 
felt that he could not mount, but she set off briskly. 
He noticed her sabots did not squeak as they would 
have done under the tread of a heavy peasant. The 
right one flew off, and skated along the indistinct 
track. He ran, and brought it to her. The demoiselle 
stood on one foot like a bird. She stepped into it as 
he placed it before her, wriggling a small inmate in a 
large house. " The wool is out of the toe, but do not 
search for it. I am so late already my father will be 
terrified. 

" Do not speak to me," she added, looking back from 
the highway ; " if I need you I will call." 

Pierre's horse was one of mettle, such as Charles 
had provided for all the pucelle's train. He had sold 
the cart-horse in Tours, and had the pieces of money 
sewed up in a fragment of cloth in a pouch which 
hung from his belt, for there might be a chance of 
returning it to his father. The horse strained eagerly 
to dash forward. He held it curveting, while the 
small figure ahead of him, hiding terror under dark- 
ness, flew along the level way, or dipped into hollows, 
or turned spurs of the hill. In all his shepherd Hfe 
he had never driven to the fold so sweet a lamb. His 
face burned with the shame of sitting a saddle while 
she waded the night on a peasant's footing. The Loire, 
gathering all the light that remained, lay, a steel- 
smooth sheet, where the sun would have shown its 
mUlion variations of surface. In the distance across 
its channel twinkled Tours, St. Martin's great basilica 
and towers standing up against the void. 

He did not know she was running back until his 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 141 

heart gave a great plunge with the horse. She called 
him by the name she had heard his sister call him : 

" Pierrelo ! " 

Afterward, in hand-to-hand fights, in ditches, whUe 
sealing walls, Pierre remembered her voice calling to 
him tlirough the night, and it stirred him to the ut- 
most. He was on the ground and answering her 
before she reached him. 

" There is something in the road that struggles and 
groans. Perhaps a man has been wounded, and left 
to die." 

"Stay here until I go forward and see what it 
is." 

She lingered close at his elbow. He could hear the 
terrified beating of a maid's pulses. " Oh, if I were 
home with my father ! I am ashamed," she breathed. 

Pierre jerked down the rearing horse. Any man 
who lay dying in the road deserved to die for shocking 
her with the fact that she was out of her place. But 
the object of which the horse was so afraid was noth- 
ing but a fallen ox. 

" Poor f eUow ! " said Pierre ; " he is doubtless only 
left until his master brings help." 

After that they met two or three horsemen, and so 
entered the long bridge which spanned the Loire to 
the walls of Tours. It was covered, hke many of the 
bridges of that period, and threatened them, an end- 
less tunnel of darkness starred by a few torches burn- 
ing in sockets at long intervals. PieiTe put his arm 
through the bridle, and walked close behind the dem- 
oiselle. When night was heaviest upon them she 
felt his grasp helping her with the basket, this visible 



142 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

protection being removed whenever they reached the 
dazzle of one of the smoky torches. Such places were 
the favorite haunts of cutthroats. But the bridge was 
fortunately cleared by the many passers who had 
stirred its dust that day, and sentinels at the city gates 
let in a belated peasant and the brother of the pucelle 
without question. 

Candles shone through leaded panes, and a moving 
lantern or two could be seen, but the city had lost its 
day brightness. 

" Good-by," said the demoiselle, in the open space to 
which the street here expanded ; " I have but a step to 
go beyond St. Jidien's church." Pierre, leading his 
horse, still walked behind her. 

Her swift sabots drew him in silence past the sunken 
portal of St. Julien, and through a street which turned 
to the left beyond it. Here houses seemed to hiiddle 
against them as they passed, and windows were barred. 
It was dark and winding. They came to a house-front 
overhanging the street, and Pierre could see against 
blacker walls the head and shoulders of a man thrust 
past an open sash, listening to the noise they made 
upon the stones below. 

"Madeleine?" the man spoke, his voice betraying 
aU he had suffered ; and the demoiselle answered joy- 
fully, "Yes, father." 

" Now he has found who carries the water from St. 
Martin's well," she said with regret. They stood under 
the overhanging front, and she felt in her basket for 
a key. Pierre took from his pouch the money the 
plow-horse had brought, and as she sought the lock he 
hid it in her pannier. 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ABC 143 

" Your father will never let you go to that fountain 
again," said Pierre, with a breath of relief. 

" No ; he will sit with his hands in his hair, as he 
did when my grandmother's people were obliged to 
journey back with me from Loches. But those who 
will not countenance him shall not have me." 

" You love your father." 

"As I love none other, except the pucelle. She 
chose him to paint her standard. The cruel people of 
the cathedral would not accept his picture ; but she 
chose him when she might have had another painter. 
For that I love her." 

The door opened from within, and, dark as the place 
was, Pierre could see the womanish, nervous hands 
which seized a belated daughter. He turned with the 
horse, and drew away from touching more closely the 
sacred family life existing there. He mounted and 
spurred out of the street, knowing that he was for- 
gotten because her father's kiss was on her cheek. 



VIII 




HE last days of April were chilly in the 
Vosges. Old ridges of snow yet lay along 
the bleak hilltops, though a driving rain 
washed the white roads and carried yel- 
low rivulets from the village manure-heaps. When 
Durand Laxart came home from the fields he no 
longer took pleasure in his house. His wife was in 
her fourth day of mourning for their dead chUd, and 
her face was relaxed and sodden with the tears which 
had flowed over it. His mother and the neighbors 
and the priest had been able to quiet her first clamors ; 
but she did not eat, and wept in silence through the 
nights. Durand himself missed the baby, and felt 
shorn of a future by its death, having little heart to 
work among his sheep or sow his grain, though the 
coimtry had never been so free from fear of Burgun- 
dians. But fathers seldom miss very young children 
as mothers miss them. With male impatience at the 
pain he could not relieve, he thought of beating it out 
of her with a stick ; but, being a tender soul too easily 
pulled about by women, still postponed the task. 
April rain stung the sashes and swept northward 
144 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 145 

up the Meuse. The man, hearing it, was thankful for 
shelter; but the woman, dropping her face in her 
hands, mourned: 

" It doth beat on our little Catherine's grave." 

" In God's name," said Durand, " is not the chUd in 
paradise ? I have been thinkiag in the fields that they 
are the happiest who have no children in days Hke 
these. See the widow Davide at Domremy; her 
Haumette hath become a scandal." 

" See my aunt Isabel Eom^e at Domremy," retorted 
Aveline, " robbed of both her children. Nothing has 
gone well with us since you took it on yourself to carry 
Jehannette to Vaucouleurs." 

Durand looked at her without defense, for the result 
of his deed was yet hidden from him. No word had 
come to Domremy or Bury-la-C6te since the envoys 
from Poitiers departed. That remote march, sepa- 
rated from France by so much hostUe country, would 
be the last to feel the movements of armies. Durand 
was sore with his responsibility. 

" And if Jehannette raises sieges," taunted Avehne, 
" what profit wiU it be to thee ? " 

"We be all profited, should the English be driven 
out." 

" But who pays for the horse she rode to Chinon ? " 

" Jacques hath paid for that." 

"France is nothing to me," wailed the bereaved 
woman, twisting her hands, and wandering around the 
earthen floor. " I want the body of my child, that I 
may feel it in my arms ; and I wiU have it this night," 
she cried, "to hold on my breast tUl momiag. My 
mind is made up. Get your shovel," commanded Ave- 



146 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

line, having no longer the terror of man or priest or 
death before her eyes. "You must come and take 
Catherine out of the grormd." 

Durand sat still with his mouth open. It was Ave- 
line who went and brought the shovel from another 
chamber. Her dumpy figure startled him to his feet 
with a momentum which appalled him. 

" But a man is not permitted to break open a grave 
in consecrated ground." 

" A woman is permitted, even by heathen people, to 
have her own child." 

" Let me bring my mother in," coaxed Durand ; " she 
will give thee a posset, Aveline." 

His wife, weeping distractedly, put a covering over 
her head, and challenged him to slight her appeal. " I 
will with my own hands tear the child out of the 
ground. Is it so far to the churchyard ? It was far- 
ther to Vaucouleurs. Oh, it is easier for a man to rob 
a mother than to give her back her child." 

Yieldiag again to the unheard-of demands made on 
him by the women of his family, Durand followed her 
out of the door. Southward, above the village, where 
the road turned toward the backbone of the hiU, there 
was a cross where passers might kneel ; and he vowed 
never to pass it again without a prayer if his patron 
saint would help him in this strait. He hoped the 
cwc6, going to see some sick person, would meet them, 
and inquire their errand, and forbid it. Yet his wife's 
passionate motherhood so stirred him that he rubbed 
moisture from his eyes with his hard knuckles. 

The pair had only to cross the street in pouring 
rain, for the cover of great horse-chestnut-trees shel- 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 147 

tered them quite into the churchyard. Houses in 
Bury-la-C6te were built in any place which suited the 
convenience of dwellers. Blank house-sides walled 
the corners of this inclosure, and here weeds of the 
previous summer, bent by manj' wiuds, lay half pros- 
trate. It was not a dark night, for a moon drove 
somewhere overhead. AVhen Durand turned to look 
behind, he could see the thatch and the brown-ridged 
tUe of roofs showing sleek in the rain. The square- 
towered, low-buUt church stood in the center of its 
allotted ground. Aveline hurried along a stony walk, 
past wooden crosses, and the moss-grown stone cross 
of the crusader with carved swords overlapped on its 
arms. Durand followed like a thief. He now turned 
his mind to hoping she would be satisfied by looking at 
the little bed, without robbing herself of the comfort 
of praying there. It was close to the west wall of the 
church, outlined with river pebbles set by the mother's 
hand, and marked by a small cross of unhewed branches. 

The dead then menaced a peasant's mind. They 
walked about him in darkness, near and familiar 
friends becoming silent and terrible visitors ; and he 
dreaded them as he dreaded spells cast by witchcraft. 
Besides, Durand did not know what punishment he 
might bring upon himself by meddling with conse- 
crated ground. 

"Dig," commanded Avehne, raking the pebbles 
away. She felt the brine of her own tears, but not 
the rushing wetness of the night. 

" Attend ! " cautioned Durand, listening, with his 
foot on the shovel. The woman listened, and beat 
her hands together in a spasm of haste. 



148 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

"It is my child crying under the ground ! " She 
pierced and scooped the earth with her fingers in such 
fierce animal frenzy as set Durand to shoveling with 
all his might. 

" Attend ! " he spoke again, his senses returning. 
" The cry is in the church." 

Aveline, her hands weighted with loam, unwillingly 
harkened also, the tone of authority in her husband's 
voice startling her into obedience. The cry did come 
from the church. She sat down, relaxing her body 
on the wet ground, and rolled up her eyes at Durand. 
Stone walls and the roar of falling rain muffled a very 
young child's wail. Aveline scrambled on her feet, 
and ran to the sunken walk at the front. The church 
of Bury-la-C6te faced southward. Shivering with 
superstitious dread, and considering what she would 
make him do if the door were locked, — for couvre-feu 
had rung,— Durand followed her a few steps. The 
huge latch clanked and the hinges creaked. He held 
his breath. Again the latch clanked, and Aveline 
passed him, running from the church. He ran also, 
leaving the shovel behind, and paused only at his own 
hearth, abashed and puzzled by such a sight as has 
puzzled many a man. His wife sat with an infant on 
her knees, picking daintily at its wrappings with her 
mud-stained fingers, plainly appeased, and ready to 
turn from the earthen bed which held the body of her 
own child to accept some other woman's cast-off bur- 
den. All her sagging muscles Hfted with satisfaction, 
and she bade him look at the creature's black eyes. 

" We have our maid Catherine back," Aveline said, 
wagging her head aggressively. " Her good saint hath 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 149 

taken pity on me this night, for I was beside myself 
—that thou knowest." She lifted the child in her 
arms, and kissed its broad features with devouring 
passion. 

" It hath the look of Haumette Davide," pronounced 
Durand, with disgust. 

AveUne faced him down. " Never name Haumette 
Davide to me again. In my lifetime she hath not set 
foot in the church of Bury-la-C6te. The child looks 
like our Catherine." 

"Butitistoo young ; our Catherine was three mouths 
old ; and this, though lusty, is but a new-born babe." 

" What does a man know of the age of young chil- 
dren? They are aU lumps of wax aUke to him. I 
found it close by the holy- water font. A miracle hath 
been wrought. Oh, you can believe that blessed St. 
Catherine would show herself to Jehannette, but you 
laugh at her taking pity and restoring a child to a 
poor, broken-hearted mother. Jehannette herself 
would not laugh." 

" You do not believe that this is Catherine, or that 
any miracle hath been done, Aveline ? " 

She wavered, and cried out, "Will you take this 
comfort from me ? " 

And Durand put his arm around her neck, and swore 
to the self-deception also, before returning to mend 
Catherine's disturbed grave. " You shall keep it and 
biTug it up ; and if any man says it was not laid in the 
church by saints, he shall feel the smack of my fist ; 
though, on my soid, its bands and wrappings do have 
a look of Domremy, and the tongues of the women 
I cannot control." 



150 THE DAYS OF JKANNE D'ARC 

There was, however, only one Durand Laxart in the 
whole Meuse vaUey. Bury-la-Cote, being informed 
by Groussaincoiirt, timed the appearance of the child 
with the disappearance of Haumette Davide from the 
coiintry. The infant's adoption might not have 
reached Domremy until midsummer if the story had 
not been winged by the miracle ; but Goussaincourt 
promptly passed it on to Greux, and Greux could teU 
it to Domremy without stirring from the door-steps. 

" Aveline is like a hen," said Isabel Eomee. " Give 
her anything to hover, and she is satisfied. They will 
never make me believe the blessed St. Catherine, or 
any other saint, would stoop to handle Haumette 
Davide's bastard. Durand himself must be running 
daft ; it is no wonder, in times like these, when mir- 
acles or mysterious voices or witches are in every town. 
It might be better for my children if more than one of 
them lay under a cross in this consecrated earth." 

Isabel stood with her hand over her eyes between 
Jeanne's little window and the churchyard; and far 
southwestward that same hour of the morning Jeanne 
waited on the south bank of the Loire, looking across 
at Orleans. The army of a few thousand men liad 
marched from Tours in less than three days, crossing 
the bridge at Blois, where gathered forces and provi- 
sions were united. It was a religious procession, led 
by chanting priests. Jeanne knew nothing of the 
country, but her plan had been to enter Orleans by 
the west gate, past the English fortifications. She 
saw that the captains who directed the march, and who 
knew the approaches to Orleans, had purposely 
brought the army to the wrong side of the river. 



THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 151 

Making a detour to avoid posts near the bridge, which 
the English occupied on the south side, they,, halted 
opposite a channel betwixt two islands in the Loire. 
She woidd have attacked the bridge, but the captains 
would not. Besides, arches next the Orleans shore 
had been broken down by the besieged themselves. 

The city had drawn a wide belt of ruin around itself 
outside the walls. Its faubourgs, or suburbs, which 
would certainly have been used by the enemy, had 
been torn down and burned by the people, who took 
refuge within the gates. West of this desolate strip 
some of the English works could be seen ; but on the 
east side of Orleans, directly opposite the halting 
army, was one large bastile threatening the convoy. 
Trooping out against this came the citizens themselves. 
Their desperate attack held it on the defensive for 
hours, while boats carried the provisions, the promised 
maid, and two hundred men across the river. It was 
not so easy to transport the main body of the troops. 
Concerted action under the leadership of one mind 
was not yet possible to a fragmentary army with 
many captains. They turned and marched back to 
Blois, to cross the bridge there, and return to Orleans 
on the right bank of the Loire. 

" En nom De ! " said Jeanne to the Bastard of 
Orleans, who ruled the city for his kinsman, long a 
prisoner in England, as that young noble met her in 
the boats ; " my coimsel are safer and wiser than the 
counsel of men afraid to pass the English. I was 
told to go in boldly, and I bring you the best succor 
that ever knight, town, or city had— the help of the 
King of heaven." 



152 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC 

" However you may enter, you are most welcome," 
he answered ; " the provisions would be nothing with- 
out the maid"; and he brought her the colors of 
OrMans to put on over her armor— a huque, or blouse, 
of dark green, and above this a long-sleeved levite of 
crimson Brussels cloth lined with white satin, em- 
broidered with the livery of Orleans, the nettle. 

At eight o'clock in the evening, the convoy being 
safely received withia the walls, Jeanne entered the 
Burgundy gate on the east side of the city. The Bas- 
tard of Orleans rode at her left hand. He was young, 
with a face not unlike his kinsman the dauphin, but 
warlike and full of action. The English made no at- 
tempt to cut off her entrance, a cautious policy of 
saving themselves from sorties having controlled the 
eight months' siege. 

To Bertrand de Poulengy the pageant was like a 
dream of trampling among clouds. Wan from hav- 
ing slept in her armor in the fields, her bare head 
showing sweet and maid-hke above the rich levite 
which hung over the plates of her leg-armor and 
covered her to the throat, Jeanne rode through seas of 
people. All the bells of Orleans rang, and thousands 
of faces wept and laughed for joy ; thousands of voices 
shouted. The delivering maid, the mysterious, God- 
sent maid, had come. Women and children pressed 
close enough to touch her stirrup or her mailed fin- 
gers. Her eyes and voice caressed them. "Be of 
good cheer," she said ; " God hath sent you succor." 

Trumpeters went before her, and her little pennon, 
on which was displayed a dove ; for her banner had 
been sent back in charge of Brother Pasquerel with 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 153 

the army to Blois. Torches streamed in the night 
wind. La Hire and De Xantrailles rode behind her ; 
her brother and her squires, her household and the 
two hundred lances, followed. From far-off streets, 
where crowds were hemmed in, came an impetus of 
sound like the wind through the oak woods , and all 
this mad enthusiasm rose at sight of a mere puceUe 
in armor, who had yet done nothing to prove that she 
was a deliverer, except make a religious march with 
troops her name had helped to coUect. Bertrand could 
see her profile as she turned from side to side. It 
mothered her dear French, and said without speech, 
" These are my children." The fact lifted him in his 
saddle, that Jeanne had the kind of dominion which 
is greater than royalty. She was king of men's minds, 
and the accident of sex affected this power only by 
adding to it the maternal instiact. He felt strangely 
grown from his old provincial life, and joined to aU 
his race, marching with the great of the world, as he 
rode in the third rank behind her. But to have no 
personal rights in her became infinitely more a loss. 
In the cathedral of St. Croix, where the cavalcade, and 
as many of the people as could crowd in, returned 
thanks, Bertrand knelt with his face in his hands ; and 
forever afterward the odor of incense was to him the 
veritable breath of sacrifice. 

Jeanne was taken across the city to lodge in the 
treasurer's house near the west gate. 

Late in the night Bertrand woke to the crash of 
thunder. A wild storm raged over the town. The 
treasurer of the Duke of Orleans had received aU of 
Jeanne's retinue into his house, her superior followers 



154 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 

being laid in one room along the width of a huge bed 
extending fifteen feet beside the wall. Pierre slept 
deeply, as did also the new squire; but Louis de 
Coutes, her page, rose up after Bertrand, and stood 
beside him looking out of a window. Jeanne was 
lodged in a secluded room on a high ground floor 
within the court, but this general guest-chamber over- 
looked the street. Sidewalks almost too narrow for 
the footing of one person, and tiny paving-stones, 
showed their minutest lines in the passing glare ; and 
faces carved on protruding timber-ends and oak cross- 
pieces in the cemented house-fronts opposite smote 
the watchers' eyes, leaving an effect of sudden bhnd- 
ness. Bertrand could see the bold young features 
beside him with vividness surpassing daylight, for 
lightning surprises that which hides itself from the 
sun. 

" I cannot sleep," said Louis de Coutes ; " my con- 
science troubles me." 

"No wonder it broke your rest," responded the 
squire ; " such a thing hath not happened before in 
your lifetime." 

"Grod wot it hath not. Messire de Poulengy, I 
have been insolent to you." 

"And do you get up in the night to repent it? 
Truly the puceUe hath reformed the troops. Have no 
regard for my humors, Messire Louis. I have been 
quarrelsome two years. There will always be people 
who feel themselves badly used." 

" But I did use you badly, for I wished myself to 
be squire instead of page." 

" We are never satisfied," said Bertrand, openly ; " I 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 155 

am one of the pucelle's squires, but I wish to be all 
Prance to her." 

The lightning flung out its blinding scroll, showing 
Louis de Coutes's eyes full of tears. The stirring of 
their fellows on the gigantic bed, and the crash of the 
storm, drove them to speak nearer each other's faces. 
Bertrand put his hand on the page's shoulder, but 
Louis shook it off with a shrug. " Messire, pages do 
not fight. I am of good family, and the King and La 
Tremouille both favor me ; yet I am nothing but a 
page. The pucelle looks on me as a boy. You can 
fight, on the contrary, under her very eye." 

" His conscience will yet drive him to prayer," re- 
marked Bertrand, gently. 

"I said pages could not fight," retorted Louis de 
Coutes, laughing ; " but there is one page who intends 
to fight with the pucelle or for her." 

" You will not fight me. I never had a word of 
love from her in my life. See Him draw His sword," 
said Bertrand, as thd lightning blazed wide through 
Orl6ans, " who fills the mind of the pucelle." 

But outside the city that vivid glory was considered 
anything but the sword of God. In barracks built of 
saplings and ' covered with thatch its search-light 
passed over hundreds of blanched faces and fixed eyes. 
The soldier, in aU ages a simple creature easily touched 
in his superstitions, was in that year of grace 1429 
the result of much religious hysteria. He would joy- 
fully scale a wall with his ladder, and take boiling oil 
or lead in the face ; but the apprehension of unseen 
powers threw him at once into physical frenzy. 
" That cursed witch," was whispered in the English 



156 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

camp from ear to ear, "hath stiiTed up this storm. 
The French have brought hell to their aid." 

When morning dawned clean and fair, they saw 
this creature of their terrors, little more than a bow- 
shot away, ride boldly out of Porte Renart, the west- 
ern gate, with a rabble of citizens at her heels— those 
very Orl^anais who had been afraid to show a head 
from this part of the city, where the wall was JoiK^- 
The English watched without drawing bow or training 
bombard upon them. She rode entirely around 
Orleans, as if to draw a line of invisible defense, with 
a few mounted followers and the trudging common 
people. Necks were craned over the English breast- 
works, and starting eyes received the impression of 
her vigorous young presence. She was Hke an ap- 
parition mounted on a white horse, her armor shining 
as mirrors reflect the sun. Her course being north- 
ward, a crimson scabbard was displayed at her left 
side ; and every man in every boulevard knew-it^n- 
tained the awful sword of Fierbois, the sword of Mar- 
tel, which once drove back the heathen, the sword which 
had leaped out of a church wall for the new salvation 
of France. " It is a sword of the devil," muttered the 
English ; " she put it ia the church wall by magic." 

And, having never seen a woman in mail, they tried 
to discern her curious armor, with its swell of bust and 
hip, and that inward tapering between, where her 
girdle was clasped for the support of weapons. In- 
stead of a vizored helmet she wore on her head a blue 
hat turned up with gold lacings, and the soft woman 
hair, cut short, flew about her ears, framing her face, 
for she looked at the English. 



THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AKC 157 

Orleans at that time was almost a parallelogram, 
though, the northwest corner formed an acute angle, 
and the west waU rounded into an outward curve. 
There were five gates : two on the north, Bemiere and 
Parisis ; one, Burgundy, or St. Aignan, on the east ; 
St. Catherine at the entry of the bridge on the south ; 
and, on the west side, Porte Renart. 

Jeanne had never seen any fortifications except 
those permanent defenses drawn around old cities. 
The walls of Orl6ans were from seven to nine feet 
thick, and from twenty-two to thirty feet high, set 
with thirty-nine towers. No parapet guarded the top, 
but a temporary barrier of wood had been carried 
around. The towers were from two to three hundred 
feet apart, except at the gates, which were flanked by 
them. They were built three stories high, garnished 
with dormer openings and machicolations, a kind of 
jutting galleried top with open spaces below for shoot- 
ing missiles or pouring down boiling lead on assail- 
ants. The walls of Orleans were in good condition. 
What Jeanne tried to comprehend with prehensile 
reach and grasp of mind was the blockade the English 
had drawn around them. And so swift were her 
military impressions that she has been caUed a tacti- 
cian of the first order. 

The English had one bastile and four great boule- 
vards extending from the faubourg opposite the north- 
west gate to the Loire. In midstream, on a little 
island, was another boulevard, and on the south shore 
another. The TourneUes, a fort with a drawbridge, 
guarded the south end of the bridge, and on the bank 
fronting that was a boulevard which was itself pro- 



158 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'ARC 

teeted by a bastile. One more bastile was planted 
eastward on the south shore ; and on the north shore, 
east of the city, built around the ruin of a church, was 
that large bastile, called St. Loup, which the citizens 
had held at bay when the maid entered Orleans. 
This commanded the road to Jargeau, from which the 
EngHsh drew many of their supplies, and was one of 
their strongest forts. The five works on the west 
side were connected by covered trenches. Jeanne 
learned that a bastile was a fortress of wood or stone 
with double ditches or moats, while boulevards were 
earthworks consisting of single moats drawn around 
an inclosure.^ Isolated, or placed before a gate or 
around a bastile, the boulevards bristled over the crest 
with a rufE of iron-tipped spikes called ehevaus-de- 
frise. Both kinds of English fortifications were 
rectangular, with a belt of moats at the four corners. 
The principal English camp was west of the city. 

When Jeanne had made the entire circuit outside 
the walls, and returned to the Renart gate, she called 
to the English, with her mailed hands around her 
mouth : " Attend ! Here is news " ; and a bowman 
beside her shot an arrow to which was bound a piece 
of parchment. Her voice, reaching out in a prolonged 
tone, f eU on the invaders' ears before the arrow stopped 
short of their intrenchments. The parchment carried 
her second letter to the English, bidding them leave 
the country and avoid bloodshed. One had been 
written for her in Poitiers, and she had despatched it 
from Tours. A soldier in hose and tunic and long, 
pointed footwear ran out and picked up the weighted 
1 Barth^lemy de Beauregard. 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 159 

arrow. He shouted insulting words at the maid, and 
his mates howled in chorus. They would hoot the 
devil to his face. 

"Now God help them," said Jeanne, as she turned 
in at the gate. " If they will not be gone, I will make 
them such a ha-hu as wiU never be forgotten." 

In these days of enormous populations the armies 
that fought battles of far-reaching consequences in 
the past seem incredibly smaU.^ Existing rolls of the 
English soldiery prove that less than six thousand 
men were camped around Orl6ans; and the army 
gathered to Jeanne's standard, including the garrison, 
amounted to about the same number. There were, 
however, many pages, bow- and arrow-makers, and 
laborers, as well as camp-followers and parasites, 
which always infest troops, on both sides. And 
Orleans lacked even this small army until four days 
after the maid's entrance. The Bastard set out 
secretly in the night, and went to Blois to hasten the 
retujn of the troops by the north shore of the Loire. 
He found aU the captains quarreling, and about to 
disband. La Tremouille, the dauphin's favorite, had 
come to Blois, and openly ridiculed a campaign under 
a woman. The Bastard of Orleans, desperate with 
the needs of his city, rallied the men, and led them 
himself on the road. 

1 " Abundanoe of preeious metals, the facilities of transpor- 
tation, the accumulated works of generations, knowledge of 
how to utilize the resources of nature, and increase of popu- 
lations, have given to great states to-day an assemblage of 
forces out of all proportion with former times."— "L'Arm^e 
Anglaise vainou par Jeanne d'Arc," MM. De Molandon et Baron 
de Beauoorps. 



160 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC 

When they were distantly seen from the walls of 
OrMans, and Jeanne rode out to meet them with five 
hundred of the garrison mounted to attend her, the 
strangest thing happened that has ever been recorded 
against the courage of a great nation. It seems that 
the English might have made a sortie, and taken her 
as she passed betwixt their silent boulevards ; but not 
a soldier stirred. As they saw her near at hand they 
cowered below the earthworks— great-limbed Britons, 
whose name has been a terror in the earth for a thou- 
sand years, whose stubborn valor has passed into a 
proverb of our time. Some of the maid's followers 
eyed this silent and motionless panic with distrust; 
but Bertrand de Poulengy remembered the dumb 
terror that held numb and unable to move the men 
who wanted to throw her into the river at Bar-sur- 
Aube. 

The English commander Talbot had borne part in 
many campaigns. He had pushed the line of fortifi- 
cations around Orleans. No more sagacious soldier 
had been sent across the Channel ; and the Duke of 
Bedford, Regent of England and general of this inva- 
sion of France, had then his headquarters not far 
away at Chartres. Neither martial skill nor awe of 
regal power moved the soldiers from their trenches. 
A reinforcement was expected under Sir John Pastolf ; 
but what could increase of numbers do for men who 
felt themselves unable to move while the maid led her 
troops into Orleans? 

Artillery as it is now understood was then a power 
unknown. Orleans had mounted upon its walls, or 
on wheeled platforms which could be pushed outside 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 161 

the gates, seventy-one mouths of fire, all made of cop- 
per, as a chronicler has told us, some of the cannon 
being lent by a neighboring town. The English for- 
tifications were armed with better artillery. Gun- 
powder, though a factor of war since the battle of 
Cr6cy, was not used at all as an explosive. This siege 
was not made a subterranean war, yet the English 
had miners with them, and large vases of water were 
kept filled within the walls, and men watched for the 
wrinkles which would betray any displacement of 
earth underneath. The western part of the city, on 
account of its low wall, was most exposed to bombard- 
ment ; but nobody fled from it, and the pucelle had 
been lodged there. 

Knowledge of many things was crushed into 
Jeanne's mind at once. These days were one colossal 
dream, in which she grasped to herself, swift minute 
after swift minute, the facts and utensils of war. She 
had heard of ballistaB and catapults, ponderous ma- 
chinery for throwing stones, great beams of which yet 
cumbered the walls ; but gunpowder artillery delighted 
her. There were bombards on wheels, and stationary 
cannon, both loaded with balls of stone through the 
mouth, and smaller culverins discharging buUets of 
lead. Fusees and fire-lances were also projected to 
set in a blaze the enemy's works. Some of the stone 
cannon-balls weighed a hundred and fifty pounds. 
The noise of this powder warfare was great, but it 
had not the force to breach walls, though, like all the 
fighting of the middle ages, it was destructive to hu- 
man life. 

In the warm May afternoon of the day the troops 
u 



162 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC 

entered, Bertrand stood in the courtyard polishing 
Jeanne's armor. 

" They shall call it white as long as I am her squire," 
he said to Pierre, who sat on a bench watching him ; 
" this new D'Aulon hopes to be knighted sooner than 
I do. I will say this for Messire d'Aulon— he can 
buckle the parts together with speed, and he wiU 
make a fair knight, but never lead retinue like De 
Metz of Novelopont." 

"I wish we had more knights among us like De 
Metz," said Pierre, letting his eyes move to the stables 
on the opposite side of the court. Pierre was yet 
armed, and Bertrand had removed only his gauntlets 
to handle the steel plates. " A council has just been 
held without my sister, and my lord the Bastard had 
much trouble to pacify one knight, who was for giv- 
ing up his standard and withdrawing. 'I will fight 
with your maid,' saith he; 'but I will never fight 
under her. What doth a peasant wench know of war? 
Let her go home and milk her cows.' " 

The little curtains of chain-mail which hung below 
Jeanne's body-armor swept with a clank against the 
bench as Bertrand shifted the leg on which he rested 
it. His blue eyes spoke for him to Pierre. 



IX 




HERE was silence in the town following 
the morning's excitement. Gunners were 
resting in the English camp, and no stone 
burst over the tile roofs. The lull of that 
booming made stillness quiver in the ears, and no- 
body trod past the gates. White clouds moved lumi- 
nous across the blue. The low sky of France, unswept 
by wind, tempering its sunshine by a divinely bright 
grayness, lay brooding growths over that whole coun- 
try, from the great plain of the Beauce north of Or- 
leans, the granary of France in good times, where 
many horizons cannot contain the sheaves, to the long 
waste of the Sologne southward. Both were then un- 
plowed and unplanted, trampled by hoofs, and turn- 
ing green only with the irrepressible moist verdure of 
spring. 

Jeanne lay asleep in a paneled room, which she 
shared nightly with the treasurer's little daughter, 
under a vaulted ceiling of blue-stone with many weird 
white griffins cut on its arch. The sashes of three 
round-topped windows were opened inward. No 
sound came from the court, for Bertrand polished the 

163 



164 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

armor with, a piece of soft leather, and the joints of 
his own harness moved silently on rivets. When he 
spoke again, his voice did not mount to the sloping 
window-siUs. 

" Some of these knights complain that since Francis- 
can monks began to roam about the country, teaching 
people their doctrine, we have nothing but mysteries 
and revelations. In God's name, how can they 01- 
treat a pucelle who led them to-day past a cowed foe, 
that they have been running from ever since you and 
I were born ? " , 

Pierre shook his head, and so freed himself of 
anxiety. 

" I know nothing of these Southern humors. The 
best thing I have seen in France is that good well of 
St. Martin at Tours. I have been thirsting for it," 
said Pierre, lowering his narrowed eyes to the basking 
ground, " ever since we came away." 

The two young men were startled by a cry through, 
the open sashes : 

" My arms ! my arms ! Quick ! quick ! my arms ! 
The blood of Frenchmen is running on the ground ! " 

Bertrand gathered up the pieces of armor, and ran 
with Pierre through a long, narrow passage which led 
to Jeanne's chamber. She was standing in the middle 
of the floor, where she had leaped from the bed. Her 
eyes had the rapt look left in them by her visions. 
Her squire with swift iingers, and her brother with 
clumsier efforts, buckled on breastplate and backpiece. 
Thigh- and- front-plates were adjusted, leaving the back 
of the leg free to press the horse ; the feet covered 
with mailed shoes ; the armpieces and gauntlets made 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 166 

fast ; the helmet, the belt and sword. She flew to the 
courtyard. No Louis de Coutes was in sight with 
her horse. Pierre brought it, bitting its mouth and 
strapping on the high-backed saddle while Bertrand 
fastened the mailed hoiisings. They helped her mount 
from the bench, and her squire flew back for her 
standard. There was no time to bring it forth ; he 
passed it to her through the window. 

"Follow ! " she cried to them, as Pierre opened the 
gate ; and both flung themselves on their horses. They 
began to hear a tumult and shouts of disaster eastward. 
They swerved behind her across one street, and flying 
horse-hoofs struck fire from stones paving that billowy, 
rising and falling, slightly bent thoroughfare to the 
old Roman road called Rue Burgundy. Bloody- 
headed citizens passed carrying wounded men. Ber- 
trand shouted to Pierre through his teeth, as they rode 
knee to knee : 

" The fools went out to take the bastile of St. Loup 
without her." 

A third of a league and three minutes brought them 
to the Burgundy gate, which was already open to let 
in a rabble of retreating French. On these came— 
archers and men-at-arms, captains, citizens, and cross- 
bowmen, those mounted pressing in first, those on 
foot flying wild-eyed. And after them, in full career, 
were the pursuing English. 

Jeanne rose in her stirrups with the lift of an eagle, 
and raised her banner high above the panic-driven 
mob. Now was heard a woman's voice, a leader's 
voice, an angel's voice, bell-like, spreading its tones 
wave upon wave, until they seemed to reach the hori- 



166 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 

zon, to ripple over the Beauce, to die away in the 
Sologne, to drive eastward far across the bastile of 
St. Loup: 

" Amys ! Amys ! ayez bon courage ! Sus ! Sus ! 
lis sont tons nostres ! " ^ 

Like an arrow, the maid and the white banner shot 
through the Burgundy gate at the EngUsh, and they 
paused and wavered. The foremost pursuers shrank 
down bodily, and moved backward, facing her. At 
her sweet and terrible cry they turned, howHng in 
English or Franco-Norman: 

" The witch ! The witch ! To cover— the witch is 
let loose ! " 

The rallied French followed her. Those who had 
fled farthest ran wUd with courage on her track. It 
had been their custom so many years to scatter before 
the English that the sight of English backs frenzied 
them. All the knights roused in the city joined in 
the pursuit ; the Bastard of Orleans, with his retinue, 
came flying from the ducal house by St. Catherine's 
gate; the young Due d'Alen^on, La Hire, De Xan- 
trailles, De Metz, each with his men shouting to the 
rescue, flew over the Roman road, crossed the double 
moats, and scaled the works of St. Loup. 

They drove, they slew, they swept the enemy. The 
maid was in the church around which the bastile was 
built, pulling refugees from the belfry, sending back 
prisoners. Everywhere St. Catherine's sword was seen 
as lightning. Shouts rang beyond OrMans and the 
English camp. _ Before the camp, roused by ^trumpets, 
could hurry reinforcements around the walls, St. Loup 
1 Her actual loattle-ory. 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 167 

was taken, sacked, riddled, destroyed. The eastern 
stronghold of the English was gone. 

When it was finished, the sweating soldiers, flushed 
and roaring with success, abated the noise of their 
joy over France's fli-st victory in years, for the puceUe 
was down on her knees protecting a dying English- 
man. 

" Let him alone ! " she cried, striking a lance from 
his breast. " Do not hurt him any more ! Why will 
they not go back to their homes? I cannot bear to 
see them die ! " 

This was the witch— this tender face, like the face 
of some dear maid at home, dropping tears under a 
lifted vizor. Her enemy died with this image upon 
his eyeballs. 

But in the city aU the bells rang, and people ran 
laughing through the streets. Now had their maid 
given proof that she was sent. St. Loup was taken, 
and the English were cut off from Jargeau. The sol- 
diers would have lain upon the pavement and let her 
ride over their bodies. They were for going out to 
attack the Tourelles next morning, but became reli- 
gious as soon as it was known that the maid desired to 
keep that day holy, it being Ascension day. " She is 
forever taking the bon Dieu," ^ they said to one an- 
other ; " her common food is nothing but bread and 
watered wine." 

Both besieged and besiegers knew the most impor- 
tant English fortress was that called the Tourelles, on 
the end of the bridge. The English, by spreading 
their forces from boulevard to boulevard over a space 

1 Sacrament. 



168 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

of nearly two leagues, diminislied their strength ; but 
the fort on the bridge was well manned. 

The bridge, a stone structure of the twelfth century, 
had nineteen arches, and from the city gate of St. 
Catherine to the south shore was more than a thousand 
feet long. Beyond the fifth arch it rested on and 
crossed a narrow island, where a chapel, a hospital, 
and a few houses remained. Here some houses were 
buUt also upon the bridge, and they had been con- 
verted into a small bastUe. Above the twelfth arch 
was a venerable cross, and at the end of the bridge 
was the strong fort of the ToureUes, separated from 
the Sologne side by a drawbridge, and guarded on 
land by both a bastile and a boulevard. The French 
fortified these towers for their own safety. The Eng- 
lish had assaulted and carried the place in October. 
That same day their commander, Salisbury, was killed 
in it by a stone cannon-ball. The retreating French 
broke down those arches giving entrance to St. Cath- 
erine's gate, and their enemies barricaded the broken 
end. To retake the ToureUes would not only clear the 
blockade half-way around Orleans : it would cut the 
English off from the object of their siege, which was 
invasion south of the Loire. 

" I shall be wounded to-day betwixt my neck and 
my breast," said Jeanne, as her squire armed her the 
second morning after Ascension day. Bertrand's lips 
whitened and stiffened. 

" How do you know that ? " 

" The counsel have told me." 

She seldom noticed him when he was girding her 
buckles, but this time she put her hands affectionately 
on his shoulders. As he stood level with her own eyes 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 169 

he trembled with unsteadiness, which the maid could 
not understand, and he breathed with the rise and fall 
of her own breast in its steel cuirass. 

"Bertrand, I am growing to love you almost as 
well as I do Pierrelo," she said, with large and open 
natural affection. " You have been a man since you 
came into Prance. You have seen I was born for this 
labor. And what if blood must go out of me this 
day ? I have told the dauphin I cannot last above a 
year or two, and he had best make use of me. Have 
you ever thought it a good to die ? " 

"Yes, I have so thought it," he answered, facing 
her steadily, his eyes swimming in rapture stolen from 
her touch. Jeanne had not a woman's sense of this 
great passion. She would as freely and honestly have 
laid her hands on the knight of Novelopont, who had 
just received back from the dauphin the moneys he 
had expended on her journey into Prance, or the Due 
d'Alen^on, whom she had promised to keep safe for 
his young wife. She was a comrade to every man 
whose strength went with hers against the invader. 
. " I will teU you," said Jeanne, in a whisper ; " since 
these voices have come to me, there is such anguish of 
homesickness to be gone with them when they leave 
me that my spirit leaps at thought of death. Oh, 
think of being through— well through— with what we 
are obliged to undertake ! Yet I am so alive," laughed 
the maid. " I enjoy my body ; I love my family, and 
my home, and this world ; but more than anything 
else under the sky I love sacred Prance. Bertrand, if 
you could hear my heart beat, the sound would be 
nothing but 'Prance — Prance— Prance— Prance ! ' 

" The battle this day will go hard with us," said 



170 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC 

Jeanne, removing her hands from her sqnire, and 
letting him put on her helmet. She pushed up the 
grotesque pointed vizor, and her voice, coming from 
the case of steel, was weirdly prophetic. 

" It will not be until my standard touches the steep 
side of the boulevard that we can go in. I do not 
know when the moment wiU be, but I shall be told. 
Bertrand, I want you to bear my standard in the as- 
sault of the ToureUes ; but do not press into the f oss 
and let the banner float against the works until I tell 
you; it will do no good until the English are given 
into our hands." 

Early as it was, the bombarding had begun, though 
gunpowder was used in such insufficient quantities, 
and the cannon around Orleans were trained at such 
angles, that projectiles tumbled perpendicularly from 
the height to which they were thrown over the city. 
OrMans answered with the mouths of its pieces through 
embrasures in the walls. Like other towns, Orleans 
could make its own gunpowder, mixing the parts, 
however, so that minimum force was generated in the 
burning. But there were no firearms to be carried 
by the marching soldiers. Archers and arbaletriers 
formed the most considerable portion of any body of 
troops. The rule throughout Christendom was to 
support any number of men-at-arms with three times 
as many archers. 

Cavalry, as the word is now understood, did not 
exist. Men-at-arms and archers both went mounted 
or afoot, as their undertakings required, and in action 
they were necessarily separated and independent of 
each other. Soldiers who hewed with guisarmes and 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 171 

pole-axes, or drove witli lances, hammers, and swords, 
could not be embarrassed by archers, over whose 
pickets and bodies they must ride or run from behind, 
and whose bolts they must risk after passing if both 
advanced together, for battle was then a mighty clus- 
ter of hand-to-hand duels. Knights, nobles, princes, 
and even kings, threw themselves at the head of their 
followers into these combats. No man stood in his 
place to be shot at ; but he picked him out a lusty 
opponent, and if he had the good fortune, progressed 
foot by foot over fallen bodies into the enemy's 
ground. 

At dawn that seventh day of May nearly every sol- 
dier in Orleans, obeying the maid, had gone shriven 
to mass. No lewd women had been allowed to join 
the march from Tours or Blois. The barracks were 
indeed like monks' cells, and every profane word was 
punished by disciphne, at her orders, and herein the 
captains regarded their sovereign's command to sub- 
mit themselves to her direction better than in matters 
of war. 

One commander neglected the duty of confession, 
remembering it only as he galloped past the misty 
cathedral front with his retinue. He struck his mailed 
hip and swore, and Poton de XantraUles, riding near 
him, laughed aloud. 

" Hug thy holy bones and chuckle, Poton," retorted 
La Hire. "A man that hath nothing but a clean 
conscience inside his armor, and gives his mind to 
handling a shield as thou dost, is safe anywhere." 

There was a glut of men at the Burgundy gate. 
Horses could scarcely move in the crowd. Jeanne's 



172 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

standard showed near the portal, and behind it, over 
the Bastard, was displayed the great red banner of 
Orleans, covered with needlework. The governor of 
the city, having received conflicting orders from that 
council held the day the troops entered, refused to 
open the Burgundy gate. He had been told that the 
attack on the English camp was to be made through 
Porte Renart, and he was not the man to give way, 
even though both pueelle and Bastard commanded 
him. 

" Break his head with his keys, and throw him over 
the wall ! " shouted La Hire, who, sputtering with the 
effort to keep back words unfit for the pucelle's ears, 
swore with tremendous zeal by the baton." 

Orleans was surrounded by a f oss which, under the 
gates, expanded to deep paved courts. As the Porte 
Burgundy was forced from within, the drawbridge fell 
with a clang, and the crowd burst out, gentler riders 
and less aggressive foot-soldiers being thrown back- 
ward by the recoil. Each captain sought to put in 
order again his retinue of twenty-five or thirty lances 
and seventy-five archers. Jeanne's confessor, who 
always rode with her as both priest and surgeon, was 
pushed on his palfrey, which replaced the jaded 
Domremy beast, across the front of La Hire's great 
horse. 

"Behold the reward of swearing by the baton," 
shouted De XantraUles over the general discomfort. 
" La Hire hath not confessed himself, but he is per- 
mitted to go out with the broad side of a friar for a 
breastplate." 

"La Hire will confess himself now," retorted 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 173 

Jeanne's convert. "Turn thee, Brother Pasquerel, 
for when we pass yon portal, adieu, religion. La 
Hire hath committed the usual sins of a man-at-arms, 
as well as he could behind the pucelle's back, who 
gives a man no chance even to wash his mouth with 
a good sweet oath, and he begs for absolution." 

The friar, reioing alongside that squat, broad suit 
of armor, murmured at the casque which was inclined 
toward him. Whether he spoke forgiveness or re- 
proof to the sinner,'La Hire accepted it with a hearty 
" Ajnen." He set spurs to his horse and shot through 
the gate. 

"Now, God," said he aloud and free-hearted, "be 
pleased to do for La Hire this day what La Hire would 
do for thee if he were God and thou wert La Hire." 

There was no longer a bastile of St. Loup to pre- 
vent the easy transportation of troops across the river. 
Boats landed the army on the south shore, where they 
had first halted. The English camp on the west side 
took no part in the action of this day, except continu- 
ing to bombard the city. 

The little bastile called St. Jean le Blanc had been 
taken by the French in a sortie on the day after As- 
cension, its garrison retreating to the bridge boulevard. 
This was the first time that Jeanne had seen chausse- 
trappes— small pieces of iron which, falling in any 
position, turned a foot-piercing point uppermost. 
The English threw chausse-trappes behind themselves, 
and every lance, English or French, had them as part 
of his equipment. 

The French archers advanced within shot of the 
Tourelles, each carrying with him a tough, sharp picket 



174 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC 

to drive into the ground if such bristling defense 
should be needed against horses. With arrows laid 
in a row under his feet ready to the grasp, he sent 
his feathered shots into the bodies of the enemy. 
A horizontal snow-storm thus swept the Tourelles. 
Long practice was required to make an expert archer, 
while lances had only to drive and dare, to hew with 
guisarme or strike with hammer, protecting them- 
selves with their pavas, or shields. Crossbowmen 
also, setting their weapons point downward on the 
ground, and holding them with foot in stirrup and 
bow across their knees, while they whirled double 
handles to adjust arrows in grooves, shot bolts by a 
trigger which exceeded the strength of the human hand 
on a bowstring. The range of crossbowmen was much 
greater than the range attained by archers, though 
the English were said to excel them with good single 
yew bows and yard-long shafts. 

Five hundred men fought in the Tourelles, and they 
were made a host by WiUiam Griadsdal, a mere squire, 
who, though far below other captains in social rank, 
had merited and received entire command of the south 
shore. He drew his force into the outwork or bastile 
on the bank, which was unusually steep from the 
bottom of the moat to the top of the earthen crest. 
Boiling oU, molten lead, stones, arrows, lances, axes, 
maces, or clubs fought down the ascending French. 
Carrying St. Loup by assault was a light feat of arms 
compared with driving a man like Griadsdal from his 
position. His men shouted insulting words at the 
witch of the Armagnacs. The noise of attack and 
repulse was terrific. Huge pincers dragged timbers 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 175 

from tlie bastile. The Frencli, stooping forward with 
their shields slung over their backs for defense, ran 
up scaling-ladders to seize their [enemies at the top ; 
and again and again were the ladders flung down, 
with stones, molten lead, and boiling oil on the heads of 
the climbers. Shouts,— "England and St. George! " 
"Prance and St. Denis!" "Remember Agincourt!" 
—the cries of captains, the clang of axes on armor, 
the crack of oak when spHt, the twang of bowstrings, 
and the steady singing of arrows— all this confusion 
of battle was heard by Jeanne with swooning ears. 
From the first ladder planted she had fallen, with an 
arrow piercing that joint of her armor where the 
shoulder moved on the neckpiece. 

A knight lifted her out of the ditch. She felt the 
jarring as he dragged her back from the press. 

" You are hurt, pucelle ; here, take my horse." 

" Who are you, messire ? " 

He threw up his vizor and showed his face. "De 
Gramaches, who flouted you in council. But I was 
mistaken in you, pucelle. Bear me no malice, and 
take my horse." 

" I bear no one malice, Messire de Gamaches, and I 
will gladly take your horse." 

Bertrand's arm steadied her in the saddle. She saw 
her banner half furled in his hand. She swooned in 
a vineyard beyond the ruined faubourg, the bolt of 
anguish^ still piercing her. Brother Pasquerel, and 
Pierre, and many more drew around her, hesitating 
to pull it out, though they took her armor off and 
bathed her face. The point stuck out behind her the 
length of her finger. She herself sat up and laughed. 



176 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

to take the anguish from their faces, and jerked it out, 
drenching her breast with blood. Pierre held her stead- 
ily, but Bertrand doubled forward on his knees and hid 
his eyes from that blood and from the sacred baring of 
her shoulder, which the friar oUed and bound up. 

She prayed voieelessly, lying on the earth among 
the vines ; and when the fli-st f aintness was past she 
rose to her knees. 

The attack on the ToureUes had not begun until 
ten o'clock, all the troops being first conveyed across 
the river. It was afternoon when Jeanne noticed the 
decreasing noise of battle. Discouraged assailants, led 
vainly by the Bastard, D'Alen^on, La Hire, and De 
XantraiUes, were drawing back from the ToureUes out 
of bow-shot, and in spite of their captains making for 
the boats. 

" En nom De ! " besought the maid, " run— bear word 
to the Bastard ! Tell him to let them eat and drink 
and rest. The men are faint. When their strength 
comes again we will go in, for the place is ours." 

Noise of cannonading continued on the north shore, 
and smoke spread there like a stratum of tinted mist. 
The cannon in the ToureUes and the boulevard, wliich 
had done little execution in a hand-to-hand struggle, 
now threw stones into the fields across the ruined 
faubourg. Perhaps the French, while they ate and 
drank such food as had been brought from the town, 
with missiles like small globes dropping about them, 
remembered, and cursed their leaders in remembering, 
that it was not the puceUe's counsel to attempt these 
works. She had wished first to attack the BngUsh 
camp, but, with good sense as strong as genius, made 
herself subservient to the captains. 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 177 

All tlie western plain and river turned rosy as the 
snn slipped low. There was an old path winding into 
the trampled vineyard, and it became pink under the 
pink sky. The two towers of the Tourelles, one roimd, 
the other many-angled, swam aloft in a sea of yellow- 
ing Ught. That embankment by the river, where an 
unprotected battery had been taken the day before, 
betwixt St. Jean le Blanc and the bridge, stood up 
clean-cut in the magnifying air. 

Gladsdal's garrison, serving their guns, and less 
troubled by the scattered French than by marksmen 
on the city waUs, saw with astonishment that their 
assailants were again massing. More than that, they 
saw the white armor of the witch who had been killed 
rise up in the weird horizontal sunset light. 

" There are white birds fluttering about her head ! " 
some of them gasped to others ; " do you see the white 
birds?" 

"She was carried off with an arrow through her 
body, and here she comes at mad gallop ! " 

The maid dashed breakneck into the ditch, her ban- 
ner carried by a squire racing beside her. It touched, 
it swept the earthen wall. Again that sweet bell-voice, 
which carried the soul of France to certain victory, 
rolled over the doomed Tourelles : 

" Ayez bon courage ! Es sont tons nostres ! " 

Men-at-arms flung their shields over their l^backs, 
and plunged from ladder-tops into the bastUe— arch- 
ers, knights, captains, nobles. 

They carried it ; they forced the boulevard behind 
it. The English ran to the drawbridge to retreat into 
the Tourelles. At the Orleans end of the bridge the 
pucelle's voice was answered by rejoicing cries. St. 

12 



178 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

Catherine's gate flew open, the garrison and citizens 
of Orleans running with timbers to cover the broken 
arches and assault Grladsdal on their side. Old Jehan 
of Lorraine, the master cannoneer, who had once fallen 
into English hands and lost his piece when it was 
trundled on its movable table outside the gates, danced 
in rapture on the waU ; for the ball that he sent from 
his battery, as the boulevard was carried, cut away 
the ToureUes drawbridge under the BngUsh, and 
Gladsdal and his men were dashed into the river. On 
went the shouting French, casting across the gap 
planks torn from outworks. The ToureUes, the pris- 
oners therein, the bridge, the battle, were theirs, and 
they marched with the maid through St. Catherine's 
gate into Orleans. 

" She drives the English, and then she weeps over 
them as they die," exulted the soldiers. It had been 
indeed a great waste of hf e. " More prisoners should 
have been taken and held to ransom," declared La 
Hire ; " men who receive but eight deniers a day for 
military service need all the Englishmen they can 
catch." 

This often-described battle, which turned the tide 
of invasion and changed the history of the world, was 
ended ; for next morning the English raised the siege, 
and setting fire to their line of remaining works, drew 
away. A blockade which had lasted eight months, 
and worn out all the military resources of the king- 
dom, was broken by the maid in three days. Te Deum 
was chanted in the cathedral, and people ran shouting 
in the streets all night long, for the bells rang with- 
out ceasing in Orleans. 




j]N a warm afternoon late in Jnly, when the 
sun was getting low behind the Domremy 
hiUs, Mengette watched skylarks rise from 
the ground. She had two flocks of geese 
on the uplands, her own and Isabel Rom6e's, and kept 
them apart, nipping grass, and from wandering into 
the young vines below, for all the vineyards were 
weighted with green grapes bunched near the earth. 
The vines were like bushes tied to stakes with wisps 
of straw. Wide, open fields spread along the ridge 
to an oak jungle southward. Once, when the young 
maids were racing on this ridge, Jehannette had seemed 
to blow like a leaf, outstripping them all, and they 
looked at her as at one who had died and come to life 
again. Mengette remembered that this had caused 
her to feel her first pang of separateness from her play- 
mate. And now Jehannette, parted from Domremy 
but six months, was at Rheims making the dauphin 
to be crowned ! 

Jean' Morel and Gerardin d'Epinal had brought the 
news from ChSlons, where they saw her and the march- 
ing army. The siege of Orleans was raised, and the 

179 



180 THE DATS OF JEANNE D'ARC 

English had been driven from Jargeau, from Meung 
and Beangeney, and had been beaten in the battle of 
Patay. Where these places were Mengette did not 
know, but she had the words by heart. Jargeau, 
Meung, Beaugency, and Patay all taken in ten days ! 
Jean Morel and Gerardin d'fipinal said that Jehan- 
nette was leading a host which increased every hour ; 
for whoever had a horse clapped saddle on it and joined 
the cavalcade, bearing his own expenses. Troyes had 
opened its gates and surrendered to the dauphin and 
the maid— Troyes, where the treaty disinheriting him 
had been made by his mother and the English ! Town 
after town delivered up its keys and returned to its 
natural allegiance. The pueeUe, without a battle, was 
sweeping all the North into her sovereign's hands ! 

" ' The pucelle ' is the name they give her," said 
Gerardin, proud that Jehannette had held his child at 
the baptismal font ; " and she goes like a great gen- 
eral, in cloth of gold, on magnificent horses, changing 
them so that they are never jaded. The soldiers have 
an awe of her as of something divine. In the field 
she sleeps in her armor, and the life of her body is 
hidden from them ; yet she flung herself off her horse, 
and shook Jean and me both by our hands, as soon as 
she saw us. They say the dauphin would have kissed 
her when she came to him after raising the siege of 
OrMans, but not even he hath the effrontery to handle 
her. And how high is the look of her coimtenance ! 
She laughs like little Jehannette yet, but I would as 
lief have St. Margaret's or St. Catherine's eyes on me 
as hers. She wears burnished mail so white that it 
shines dazzling, and has squires and servants to wait 



THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 181 

on her. We saw Pierre and Bertrand de Poulengy, 
and for confessor she hath the friar who set forth to 
the wars with Pierre. And everybody in Chalons 
looked once at the Dauphin Charles and his retinue 
of nobles, and all the time thereafter at the pucelle." 

Jacques and Isabel had gone to Rheims, to see the 
dauphin crowned and to bring home their children. 
They had been absent more than a week. The cure 
and Jacquemine and Durand Laxart went with them, 
but Mengette felt quietly sure they would not return 
with Jehannette in their company; and if not with 
Jehannette, neither with Pierre. She endui-ed vicari- 
ous pangs for her dear playmate uprooted from home, 
though how much worse it would be for Jehannette 
to come home and find Domremy so changed ! 

The cure and Jacques being both without horses, 
Durand Laxart took the priest in his cart, while 
Jacques had been obliged to borrow the Widow 
Davide's beast, which was grudgingly lent, though 
she would receive for the loan a measiu-e of wine at 
the vintage. The journey from Domremy to Rheims 
was over sunny country, where the mud of spring was 
long dried up. But Jacques d'Arc was going to see 
a glorified daughter, and the Widow Davide did not 
know where her Haumette was. Human bitterness 
grew in the woman at such raising up and puUing 
down. Mengette knew the Widow Davide's tongue 
began to work the very day Jean Morel and Gerardin 
d'fipinal brought their wonderful story. She was 
cross in her wine-shop when Domremy rang its church 
bell, and crosser when Greux, though Burgundian in 
its preferences, rang also for the maid of Lorraine. 



182 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

A rider spurred up the long ascent to Bury-la-C6te ; 
and there Durand Laxart danced wildly in the street, 
and Bury-la-C6te rang its bell also. Thus from town 
to town up the Meuse vaUey sped news of the maid ; 
and from Domremy to Vaucouleurs, where the people 
made a public procession of thanks, the bells, through 
which she heard her voices best,— the bells which were 
like her own pealing cry,— rang her victories. 

As soon as the priest, excused from his oflSces, and 
Jacques and Isabel were on the road to Rheims, jeal- 
ousy of the D'Arc family spread over Domremy Uke 
fog from the river. Its sinuous twistings were in 
every house, and Mengette saw the women turn their 
heads when she went toward Greux with her geese, 
instead of giving her a " good day." The puceUe's 
closed, shed-shaped home seemed to rouse antagonism. 
Mengette saw her neighbors pointing at it and laugh- 
ing. They had once talked about Jehannette's visions, 
and aU knew her long waiting and sorrow. Did it 
amuse them that she had burst from her years of 
preparation into swift, miraculous action, gaining for 
the French five great battles in two weeks, and lead- 
ing the dauphin in victorious progress through a hos- 
tile country to his coronation f Mengette had no envy, 
and did not understand that the puceUe's sudden rise 
before all Christendom might affect her neighbors like 
their own downfall. 

The wine-shop door was shut in Choux's face, his 
cronies sitting with the cool garden under their eyes 
at the back of the house. Unused to being banished 
from the wine-shop without having his ear pinched, 
Choux waited in the street, hunched on the stone coping 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 183 

wMcli surrounded the manure-heap ; and the Widow 
Davide came out, and denounced him openly as a 
sorcerer with a voice from the devil, a consorter with 
people who did things by witchcraft. His own foul- 
ness made more wholesome by the stable odor in which 
he sat, he thrust his face at her, and called boldly on 
Valentin to torment her at night, which sent the 
"Widow Davide clattering into the church for holy 
water and a cautious prayer or two against the evil 
eye. 

Choux's face projected more and more like a beast's 
in front of his ears. Mengette's abhorrence of him in 
ebb and flow tossed her clean virgin spirit, but she 
held on to duty, and made regular confession of it. 
Father Fronte laid no penance on her, even when she 
owned to wondering i£ Choux would never die ; for 
when his hissing grew unendurable, the old order of 
things lost their charm, and she reached the state of 
constantly desiring to have him under ground, tied in 
his last clean cap and deaf to voices. After Isabel's 
reproof he and Valentin had shrieked no more aloud, 
but they took to whispering; and Mengette's skin 
prickled all over when she heard them filling darkness 
with fierce sibilations, like a pair of colossal ganders. 
She knew there was a Valentin, though Isabel had 
scarcely believed in his existence and soon forgot him. 
Nightly, month after month, his invisible company op- 
pressed the house and gave it an uncanny name. The 
priest privately exorcised him, and punished Choux 
by withdrawing the church's consolations for a time ; 
but that old sinner no longer cared for the bon Dieu. 
Father Fronte began to regard him as a poor idiot. 



184 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 

the sport of fiends, more to be pitied and endured than 
corrected. 

Jacquemine now had much of Pierre's work to do, 
and sulked continually, being far from strong; and 
when Mengette gladly helped him, he could talk of 
nothing but his troubles. Yet, in spite of these things, 
Mengette never came on a day when she did not live 
with zest. The July afternoon put Domremy out of 
her head. Creamy air, smooth and soft upon the 
cheeks, strewed wisps of gray or opal color against 
green hills. The Meuse was nearly hid in bushes. She 
could see Jean Morel and Grerardin d'fipinal at work in 
their vineyards below the oak woods. These travelers, 
who had gone as far as fifteen leagues to Chalons, 
were behind in tying up the vines ; but they worked 
with the stii- of the world in their blood. They knew 
the vintage was going to be good, and declared the 
last Burgundian riders had trampled the march of 
Lorraine. As for that wicked Queen Isabel, she now 
sat in Paris quaking from morning till night, though 
the sun was there so hot that dunghills reeked ; and 
what would she do when her crowned son turned from 
Rheims to march with the pucelle on Paris ? 

A skylark rose from a wide level between the flocks 
of geese, wheeling and singing, sweet and lilting, until 
he was out of sight, though his voice seemed as near 
as ever. Mengette stood with her face turned upward, 
searching for his dot of body against dazzling light ; 
motes swam before her eyes in the upper air; then the 
lark appeared, wheeling downward. His rejoicing did 
riot cease an instant. When higher than a hundred 
feet, he dropped like a stone, head downward, de- 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC 185 

scribed one more circle, and alighted in the grass. All 
the time his singing was so joyful that it made Men- 
gette laugh. He did not mind her near approach, but 
was up again, for pure gladness, and out of sight 
agaia, his voice bubbUng in every direction over the 
sky ; then down he wheeled and dropped, circled once 
more, and hid himself in the grass. So he kept it up 
until the sun was almost gone. Mengette's neck ached 
with supporting her back-tilted head while he was 
aloft, and her lips were stretched with the laughter 
of delight. She loved him, and had loved his fathers 
before him all her summers. Her dazzled eyes could 
hardly see the stony land mottled with specks of 
white. 

Therefore when an outcry broke from Domremy 
street, in front of the church, she looked down the 
long hill shoidder, bhnd to its cause. Her own house 
and the garden behind it, crowded with growing things, 
were a blur till her eyes were fitted to the lower light. 
The black wheat, or buckwheat, which made her winter 
bread, was all in flower, a gray smear within the wall. 

Mengette could hear Choux screaming her name, 
and her first startled thought was that the devil might 
be carrying him off. She felt her whole body blanch 
with fright. Then she began to see people running, 
and a man and a woman dragging Choux by the 
shoulders, his hump and heels scraping the ground. 
Domremy had risen against sorcery. 

It was a sin, but Mengette's next thought was fear 
that the two flocks of geese might mix or stray or 
damage vines if she left them, so strong is the hold 
of small cares on poverty. But compassion, unready 



186 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 

in her brain, was swifter ia lier muscles. Directly 
another flying figure added itself to the village mob. 
Mengette, breathless, dragged at Choux to liberate him 
from the mob's hands. Her neighbors, who knelt in 
church with her, were like wUd beasts. 

" Let go this sorcerer ! " screamed Widow Davide ; 
" we have had enough of voices and visions and witch- 
craft. Let them believe who will that Jehannette 
d'Arc doth her great miracles of siege-raising by the 
help of the saints. "We know this old beast hath long 
communicated with devils. He ought to be burned ; 
but fagots are too good to waste on him— we will 
drown him in the Meuse.'' 

Mengette put herself in front of Choux, who shrilled 
like a chicken with something in its neck. This spas- 
modic shriek, and his odor, and his prehensile, suck- 
ing grip, from which there was no escape, made her 
turn faint. With the ferocious self-preservation of 
age, he held her before him ; and she felt his thumbs, 
which curved sharply backward with a claw at the end, 
sink their joints into her hips. His thick, bestial lower 
lip blubbered first at one side of her waist and then 
at the other, as he watched his antagonists. Mengette 
trembled. 

" You have never been well liked yourself for har- 
boring the old wretch," warned the Widow Davide's 
nephew, who had helped drag Choux. 

" It matters not," answered Mengette. 

" People despise you," declared the Widow Davide, 
hands on hips, and nose thrust into the maid's ghastly 
face. 

" It matters not," answered Mengette. 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ABC 187 

" Let US have Mm, or we will throw you into the 
river with him." 

" It matters not," answered Mengette, her tongue 
bound to one phrase; for she could not argue with 
them, or threaten them with the cur6, or think of any 
good thing which might turn their minds. And there 
was old Simone of Greux, who could barely totter 
on two canes, licking his sunken mouth with fierce 
desire to slay, and shrilling, "Put them both in the 
Meuse ! " 

And there were the children who loved to stroke 
Mengette's milk-white gander, staring at her as at a 
cursed thing. She had early learned what is so hard 
for the young to learn, that many things must be en- 
dured alone. But there is no loneliness like isolation 
as the protector of an abhorrent object. Some of the 
excited villagers drew back, touched to their souls by 
her hunted eyes. The rest, provoked by resistance, with 
frenzied clamor dragged both Mengette and Choux 
to the deep washing-pool. 

Choux's throat closed to sound, and his face ex- 
tended long and horse-like in front of his ears. Men- 
gette could see it, though his hold on her back was 
not broken, as she struggled against the hands of her 
executioners until her petticoat and bodice were torn 
to shreds. Her lithe body twisting and her arms beat- 
ing in the midst of a crowd were seen by Jean Morel 
and Gerardin d'fipinal in their vineyards. They ran 
shouting at the top of their voices. 

Men who had been farther than Chylous might not 
have prevailed at that time to stop unjust violence, 
but two dreadful things helped them— the sight of a 



188 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

maid's naked, scratched arms and breast and dropping 
petticoat, and news from Greux that the priest had 
already passed Bermont chapel on the Bury-la-C6te 
road which led from Rheims. 

The crowd fell apart. Every woman was ready to 
cover poor Mengette and take her home. They began 
to blame one another, and those who had only stood 
and looked on went into their houses with a virtuous 
air, determined that the priest should know they had 
nothing to do with it. Choux and sorcery were for- 
gotten. They all wished to be standing by their doors, 
or driving in the cows, or to be bringing great inno- 
cent panniers of lucerne on their backs, or gathering 
home the children and the geese, when they welcomed 
the priest as he returned along Domremy street. 

But before the angelus rang, nearly every soul, 
warned out by Father Fronte's command, gathered in 
the church. Choux was not there. He crouched in 
his chamber ; and Valentiu was not heard to whisper 
all that night. Mengette was not there. She lay in 
her cupboard bed, and though it was July, the serge- 
covered down sack lay over her feet, for twilight 
brought inlihe coolness of the hiUs. Isabel Rom6e sat 
beside her, too exalted to feel that bitterness against 
her neighbors for their behavior which she must have 
felt if she had not been to Rheims. 

But Jacques and Jacquemine were in the dark 
church, where almost invisible sinners cowered on the 
prayer-benches. The terrors of that religion whose 
rights of trial and punishment they had iisurped hung 
over a pastoral people unused to pubhc ferment. The 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 189 

Widow Davide knelt on the stone floor ; she was often 
mourning her daughter there, and sank lower and 
lower in a contrite heap. 

Two candles only lighted the altar. The cure came 
out of the sacristy, and taking one of them, ascended 
a pulpit near the center of the church, and set it on 
the reading-desk before him. "White groins and arches 
were half discernible overhead. In one transept was 
an image of St. Catherine, and there Jehannette d'Arc 
used to pray. The priest led his people through a 
short benediction service, and then he said: 

" I have heard aU that you attempted to do this day 
to Choux, who is a sinner, and to Mengette, who would 
have perished a martyr. And why were you moved 
to it ? I know your hearts, full of jealousy and envy. 
You were not mad against sorcery: you were mad 
against royal favor that hath not been shown to you. 
None of you have complained of any damage done to 
you by Choux ; but when my back is turned you rise 
up to put him to death, and shamefully misuse an in- 
nocent maid, because of your spite and malice." 

The church was very still. Jacquemine, in his place, 
felt fierce to punish these peasants who had not been 
to Eheims. 

" I have been to Eheims," said Father Fronte. " I 
have seen our dauphin crowned a king; I have seen 
the pucelle, who grew up among us with holy visions 
in this valley, where some of you run to violence, stand 
before her sovereign to be questioned what she desired 
for aU her services. She asked but one thing : ' Take 
the tax forever off Domremy and Greux.' The king 



190 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC 

takes the burden of tax off Domremy and Greux. 
Your priest and Jacques d'Axc bring you the news. 
I have no more to say. Go home." 

The congregation did not stir. Father Fronte also 
stood still in the little circle of candle-light. He could 
hear their labored breath. They aU, like one great 
sorrowful child, burst into weeping, and wept aloud. 



XI 




SABEL could hear that contrite noise in 
the church through Mengette's open door 
and windows. Both women understood 
it, but they continued their talk about 
Rheims. Isabel had brought home all the geese from 
the uplands, and given evening bread and drink to 
this prostrate family as weU as her own. The hill 
twilight of home filled her heart to the brim. Men- 
gette's slight outline was stretched in exhaustion 
under the down sack, which she drew to her armpits 
as the air grew cooler, her face shining white above it. 
The pot-hanger dangling from the back of her fireless 
chimney was lost in the dark, and both door and win- 
dows framed nothingness. She forgot her trouble in 
the splendor of a realized vision, which Isabel could 
not keep from painting on the Domremy night. 

"So all hath been fulfilled. While we spun or 
sewed or worked in the vineyards, the months have 
changed Jehannette like many years. At first I did 
not know her in her armor. We aU stood to see the 
king and his troops enter Eheims on Saturday even- 
ing, for he received his worthy anointing on Sunday ; 

191 



192 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

and there was my eliild riding at his side with a white 
banner, so glorious a creature, the people so adoring 
her with cries and weeping, that I hid my face against 
a wall, and shook with a kind of palsy, and saw not 
her brother ; he rode behind her. But when she came 
flying to the inn where we slept,— for she was lodged 
with the king's company at the archbishop's chateau, 
—and with her head bare cast herself into our arms, 
Jacques fainted down upon the floor. She kissed him 
and tended him. I could see she was our same Jehan- 
nette. She inquired for you, and named everybody in 
Domremy. Her heart was set on coming home with 
us, since her task was fulfilled at Rheims; but the 
king and all the army held to her with pleadings, and 
reproached her for desiring to turn back while the 
English are still in Prance." 

" And Pierrelo, also— he was well ? " put in Mengette. 

" Well and ruddy, and all a soldier. Pierrelo hath 
become wasteful, living among nobles; but he paid 
into Jacques's hand the money which our horse brought 
in Tours, and more besides, from spoils and ransoms 
of the English. Jehannette will not take either spoils 
or ransoms, or money from the king, except to pay 
her household. The king would have given honors 
to both Jacques and Durand Laxart ; but they would 
have nothing, so he made our Jacquemine baiUff of 
Vaucouleurs. Messire de Baudricourt hath joined the 
army with his retinue, and he and Durand were made 
to teU over and again the story of her setting out for 
France. Durand Laxart boasted a thousand times, 
' And I carried her to Vaucouleurs ! ' wandering around 
the fair streets, beside himself and laughing aloud. 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 193 

Jehannette gave him her old bodice and petticoat that 
she hath carried with her on all her journeys, having 
no longer hope of wearing them again. And he sat 
with the things across his knees, and looked at her in 
her mail, the tears running down his face, the king 
himself having said that no man had done more for 
Prance than Durand Laxart. 

" The king hath a pleasing, fair presence, and he is 
but four years older than Jacquemine. He kept his 
vigil in the cathedral all Saturday night, as the custom 
hath ever been on a sovereign's last night before cor- 
onation ; and outside in the great square were crowds 
rejoicing. All night long, also, the workmen hung 
banners and tapestries and cloth of gold, and there 
were chimes like thousands of bells ringing together." 

"Does that great cathedral where the kings are 
crowned seem to be more than a church ? " 

" Outwardly it is hke a carven cliff of stone, and 
took my breath from my throat at the first sight. 
Within, when a few voices chant, the sound swells 
nntU an army seems chanting ; but when an army doth 
chant, the mighty rolling volume is like nothing I shaU 
hear again on this earth. Also, there were wheels in 
wheels of tinted light shedding glory. The piUars 
are set up as they would support the sky, and all our 
family could sit on the base of one. Besides these 
seats around the pillars, three rows of stone benches are 
formed by the rise of the walls above the pavement. 

" Then there was the procession of the Sainte Am- 
poule containing the holy oU, which an angel brought 
from heaven for anointing our kings. Priests carried 
it under a canopy— a nttle round flask the size of my 

13 



194 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 

thumb, but larger about tlie bottom and shoulders, 
and smaller about the middle and top, all crusted with 
red and green gems, with a stopper of gold. Out of 
this did the archbishop anoint the kiug on his head, 
his shoulders, within the joints of his arms and the 
pabns of his hands, slits being cut and embroidered 
in his robe to this use. It was all done according to 
ancient custom. And then did two nobles lift the 
crowned king in his chair, and show him to the people. 
He was proclaimed, and chimes and voices and music 
of instruments rolled in the arches ; and I, being with 
Jacques within the choii', could see my child stand on 
the lowest step of the high altar with her banner. Oh, 
Mengette, I am the happiest woman in France, what- 
ever comes of all this, for it is clear I am the mother 
of a deliverer ; but it was at first hard for me to believe 
that St. Michael stooped to our garden, and St. Cath- 
erine and St. Margaret continually instructed her." 

" You believe it now, godmother 1 " 

" Have I not seen with my own eyes the things re- 
sulting therefrom ? They are more wonderful to me 
than the coming of saints." 

Before next dawn Mengette was crossing the moist, 
dark lane to milk her godmother's cows, knowing that 
Isabel would be weary from the journey. It was not 
light enough to see artichokes standing stiff like huge 
green dahlias in the village gardens, or even to dis- 
tinguish poppies thick in little squares of wheat, their 
crimson heads embroidering the yellow mass ; but aU 
hidden sweetness was on the air, and the smeU of the 
yellow linden flowers was a complete delight. Thus 
the sleeping Domremy, the dew-reeking, half-seen, 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ABC 195 

natural Domremy, made up to Mengette for the cruelty 
of its inhabitants. She did not wish to meet a living 
soul, and was seeking her work in the end of the night 
to avoid the earliest risers; for Mengette had wild 
instincts, and felt the scratches on her outraged breast 
branding her with disgrace. That her neighbors had 
been called to public rebuke and public repentance 
made no difiEerence to her. She hated no one, but she 
desired to make a retreat from the world, and it was 
fortunate that Gerardin d'Epinal had hired her to 
work in his vineyard that day. 

The D'Arc house was not buUt to shelter its own 
cattle, like other cottages, but had a thatched stone 
stable beyond its garden. Oxen and cows, brought 
carefully in to repose for the night under shelter, 
sighed their content in the darkness; and Mengette, 
as she entered, made haste to say, "God and St. 
Bridget bless you ! " so the cows would not kick over 
the milk. 

She shivered with the lonesome chilliness of early 
morning ; but at mid-forenoon the warm land glowed 
about her, a fervid breath risiag from the earth. 
When . Mengette had employment, her geese were 
obliged to remain shut up in their own end of the 
house, quavering as if their nostril-holes scented the de- 
licious summer landscape outside ; for Choux avoided 
that common employment of old people and children, 
and would not lead a goose out to graze. 

When all laborers paused for the mid-forenoon meal, 
Jacquemine d'Arc came among the low vines search- 
ing for Mengette. She did not stand up until he de- 
tected her bare head above her strange clothes ; for, 



196 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 

her every-day wear being shi-edded to rags, she was 
obliged to fall back on her mother's chest. 

Jaequemine was in his best, and he chose his way 
like a magistrate, so that Gerardin d'Epinal at the 
other side of the vineyard, whose experience as a 
traveler was considerable, might feel his new dignity. 
Gerardin chuckled in his piece of loaf as he crunched 
it with hard teeth, and silently prophesied about the 
people of Vaucouleurs, and their submission to a bailiff 
like Jaequemine d'Arc. " He will go in with a strut 
and a bellow, like a little bull of the Vosges," laughed 
Gerardin; "and come out over the wall, tossed by 
bigger horns than his own. Bertrand de Poulengy is 
of no greater stature than Jaequemine, yet he doth fill 
the eye like a man, while this creature might as well 
be a bush, so little regard have people to his humors. 
Doubtless the king laughed in his royal sleeve at his 
new bailiff; but Vaucouleurs will count it an un- 
gracious return for sending him the pucelle." 

Some regret for the hard-working maid who was 
bound by contract to Jaequemine also glanced through 
the peasant's mind. " She coiild make a better mar- 
riage," he reflected, " particularly now, whUe such in- 
dignation is felt for her ; but even the pucelle cannot 
turn this poor brother into a husband to be desired 
of any maid."' 

"I am going to Vaucouleurs," was Jacquemine's 
greeting. 

Mengette remembered when his father had spoken 
the same words, and he had afterward accused Jehan- 
nette of disgracing the family. She looked up quickly 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 197 

from tlie knife and lump of bread in her hands, and 
he was shrewd to perceive her thoughts. 

" Because the king made me bailiff of Vaucouleurs 
when I was in Eheims," he said, coloring helplessly, 
" I did not on that account stint speaking the truth 
to my sister. I told her plainly the people here in 
Domremy said she raised sieges by witchcraft." 

Mengette's sunburnt cheeks whitened, and she looked 
down. She had no spirit left. His words did not 
dispraise the people of Domremy, but she blamed him 
little ; he was himself happy. The elfish naughtiness 
of this lad whom she had helped to reai', his spites 
and frank self-love and jealousies, had always touched 
her pity ; but the shock which her traditions had re- 
ceived unsettled her even toward Jacquemine. She 
wished she had hid herself at Bermont spring instead 
of coming to work in the vineyard. 

" Will you stay in Vaucoiileurs f " 

" I shaU live there. A bailiff is not like a captain 
of a town, who may live where he pleases ; but he must 
set up his house among the people he governs. I am 
no fool," said Jacquemine, with a twist of his foxy 
head. "This great ha-hu of Jehannette's may not 
last. My brother Jean will get wind of it at Vauthon, 
and his wife's family will urge him to make his profit 
out of it ; but I am the eldest, and the first honor is by 
right offered to me. Bailiffs are not bailiffs merely to 
amuse themselves. I intend to squeeze Vaucouleurs." 

" What was done for Pierrelo ? " 

" Oh— Pierre— he hath everything like a great noble. 
You should see him caracole on a horse. And he 



198 THE DAYS OF JEANNE B'AEC 

hath put on clothes and armor that swell his person 
to increased bigness. ' La ! I am the brother of the 
pueelle ! '—that is aU his thought. Doubtless he told 
the dukes and captains she had no elder brother, for 
they knew nothing about me." 

" I would I could see him and Jehannette." 

Jacquemine's sandy eyebrows drew together with 
resentment. 

" It is plain you are not glad to see me, and Durand 
Laxart's horse stands saddled ready for me while I 
climb up hither to set a day for our marriage. The 
bailiff of Vaucouleurs can marry when he pleases. 
We are no longer obliged to wait until Choux's 
death." 

To Mengette, whose world was scarcely a league 
square, such a translation to new spheres was blinding. 

" Oh, Jacquemine," she cried out with a rush of joy, 
" I now want to leave Domremy." 

"It is soon arranged. There is Henri Eoyer in 
Vaucouleurs, who is well disposed toward us, and will 
help me to seek a suitable house. A bailiff is not to 
be lodged as common peasants lodge. I saw in Rheims 
in what excellent regard the citizens of the three es- 
tates are held. There are in this realm three ranks 
called the three estates, Mengette— the clergy, the 
barons and knights, and the citizens." 

" But what wiQ your father do for help in his fields ? " 

" He will be obliged to hire a laborer. When he 
loses me he will lose a son indeed ; but both my father 
and mother have spoken of the marriage. They see 
it will be necessary, and I have remained the last of 
their children." 



THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 199 

" How will Choux be received in Vaucouleurs, Jac- 
quemine ? " 

" Choux will stay where he is. He can still sleep in 
your house, and my mother can feed him." 

Mengette thought about it. The hf ting of her life- 
long burden brought a deep breath of relief from her 
bosom; but the old custom, the old discomfort, the 
old duty, which her father had told her death alone 
could free her from, were drawn back with her next 
inhalation. 

" No ; I must not throw the care of him upon any 
one else." 

" He shaU not go to Vaucouleurs— I will tell you 
that." 

" Then I must stay in Domremy, and still feed and 
shelter him." 

"Do you love old Choux?" 

Mengette covered her face with one arm, and shud- 
dered. 

" "Why, then, do you hold by him 1 " 

Her eyes, as she opposed her lover, took again the 
hunted look. 

" There is a pitying, Jacquemine, which is hke reli- 
gion. I cannot disregard it ; happiness would turn to 
a curse." 

"Do you choose to stay here with him, working in 
the fields, rather than to go with me ? " 

" I cannot choose, Jacquemine ; it was all settled 
without my choosing." 

He flung his nervous body a few steps from her, and 
looked back. " Then it is adieu between us." 

"Jacquemine, you came up here to quarrel with 



200 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 

me. You scarce gave me a good day or a kiss on the 
cheek, and there was only Gerardin, who knows how 
long we have been betrothed. You were not like this 
before the king made you bailiff of Vaucouleurs ; but 
it is true, I am not fit for your wife." 

She turned to her work, and he came back. They 
faced each other for more words, when Choux appeared, 
carrying his hump less lightly than before its bruising, 
to take his share of the forenoon meal from his feeder. 
The stealthy odor of him crept within the vine frar 
grance, and Jacquemine looked at htm over one shoul- 
der, and gave him the field. 

Mengette yielded her knife and lump of bread to 
the old creature. The chief member of her foster 
familj', the one through whom she had hoped for rel- 
atives and happiness, stalked on down hiU, without 
again looking back, to claim for himself dignities and 
honors, and left her for life to this degraded company. 
Choux made little noises of satisfaction over his food, 
grunts and smacks of the palate, bestial, unlike the 
honest grinding and hearty human enjoyment of a 
peasant. 

Mengette hid herself among the vines as far as she 
could from him, and knelt there, doubling her body 
forward, and weeping upon her knees. 




XII 



OTON DE XANTRAILLBS is love-lorn," 
said La Hire, with a wink at his friend's 
back; for the tall knight mounted and 
rode off to St. Denis without waiting for 
him. La Hire's own courser was held ready by a page, 
but he lingered, spreading himself and Ms cloak upon a 
chair, and holding a cup in his fist on the table where 
he had been drinking. He sat before the door of his 
quarters in the crowded lane of La Chapelle, which 
was then a small faubourg outside the ramparts of 
Paris. There was a stretch of fields to the city walls 
on the southern horizon. 

"Since Poton hath been appointed governor of 
Coucy his mind runs to serious things,— mass and 
confession,— so that he hath no longer any stomach 
for good company. Take warning by Poton, Messire 
d'Arc, and let thoughts of women alone. La Hire 
never looks at a woman," said the old sinner, rolling 
his eyes behind his chair, where Pierre could see a red 
petticoat half concealed by his wide cloak. 

"What have we in La Chapelle or St. Denis to 
make a man love-lorn, Messire La Hire ? " the pucelle's 

201 



202 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 

brother asked, laughing. He knew well whose black 
eyes snapped near the knight's broad shoulder. 
Though women of her class were forbidden the camp, 
he had many times seen Haumette Davide, gorgeous 
from a summer among Burgundians, sUp about be- 
hind his sister's back. And he had talked with her, 
half in contempt and half in pity, loving the familiar 
sound of the whistling Domremy " oui," which is hke 
"whist!" 

Pierre sat his horse with drawn rein for the pastime 
of enjoying La Hire's embarrassment. But he added 
in seriousness : 

" Messire de Xantrailles is only cast down like the 
rest of us because we are kept idle in camp." 

The knight struck the table until his wine-flask 
staggered. 

" We ought to take Paris to-morrow. By my baton, 
La Hire is tired of this. The king and La TremouiUe 
have sat in St. Denis a week, holding the pucelle in 
leash, bemoaning the expenses of an army they keep 
idle; while the Duke of Bedford in Paris laughs at 
them, having a hundred and twenty thousand Kvres 
tournois a month to his revenue drawn from France." 

In his excitement La Hire raised and shook his arm, 
twitching the cloak farther off Haumette. Her re- 
minder caused his face to fall into sudden distortion, 
and he arranged his draperies in haste ; but in serious 
conference with the soldier Pierre forgot to be amused 
by the bacchanal. He looked through a passage left 
between houses at meadows sweeping away to the 
Seine, which, after cleaving Paris, makes a bend north- 
ward. He could not see the distant river, but aU the 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 203 

fields were spread with September glory of pale-pink 
and pale-blue crocuses, star-cloth, a prodigal carpet 
for mailed feet and trundling artOlery and the chafing 
of coursers' hoofs. Pierre could smeU, above the barn- 
yard odors of this stone village crowded with many 
horses, a piece of wild mignonette he had stuck in his 
corselet because it reminded him of Domremy. There 
the little brownish-yeUow blossom twinkled all sum- 
mer, overclothing the sward in every direction. 

" Messire La Hire, is La Tremouille part English ? " 

" No ; but he is wholly bad French. Hark ye, my 
lad, who was Georges La Tremouille before the king 
took him up ? Nothing but a dependent of the Due 
de Richemont, and for being placed at court by that 
noble he hath bred enmity betwixt his patron and the 
king. He had a sister married to a low Scot little 
better than a stable-boy. You remember," cried La 
Hire, with pleasure in bringing the facts to Pierre's 
own experience, " the little maid that embroidered the 
puceUe's standard in Tours ? " 

Pierre did remember her, to the roots of his hair. 
He sat his horse, helplessly detected in a feeling which 
La Hire had not the eyes to see. 

" That was the Scotchman's daughter, the chUd of 
La Tr^mouille's sister. She hath been left on his 
hands by the Scotch painter's death since we marched 
from Rheims." 

" Who brought news of the Scotch painter's death, 
messire ? " 

"A messenger from the queen to the king, that I 
myself saw in St. Denis yesterday. His name—" 

" But where now is the demoiselle ? " 



204 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC 

" Oh, she is with her grandmother in Loches ; and 
the favorite's elder sister, De Beuil's wife, hath already 
stirred herself to tie the young calf to the royal crib. 
The Scotch demoiselle is now our queen's new maid 
of honor. Bring in all nations," blustered La Hire. 
"France is meat for every crow on earth. By my 
baton, if G-od Almighty came down to France in these 
days, he would turn robber like the rest ! " 

Pierre felt strong need to slap La Hire's red face, 
where unshaven hairs bristled with general aggres- 
siveness ; but taking up the glove for the La Tr^mouille 
family against his friend was such madness that he 
put himself beyond another word by spurring off sud- 
denly for St. Denis. Charles had appointed a council 
to consider an attack on Paris,— the king was not 
slack in holding councils,— and Pierre's duty was to 
attend the pucelle. 

" It is time La Hire himself took to horse," declared 
the knight, in a flurry of haste, bouncing around on 
his chair. " Come out now, minion ; drink your wine, 
and begone. Do you want to give a godly fellow a 
bad name in the camp? The pucelle herself might 
ride by if it were not for the council in St. Denis." 

"What care I for the pucelle?" scoffed Haumette, 
resuming her seat on the table, and filling the cup she 
had carried into hiding. "Did I not know her in 
Domremy? She is no better than I am. Must I lie 
perdu whenever the D'Are family make a procession ? 
No, by my faith ! The Davides are as good as they are." 

" Ho ! " cried the knight, starting up and seizing her 
by the shoulders. " Down again, Haumette ! Squat, 
toad ! —yonder comes the pucelle." 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 205 

" Let her squat before me," retorted Haumette, hold- 
ing stubbornly to the table. 

" But it is the puceUe." 

" I also," said Haumette, defiantly—" I am a puceUe 
of Domremy. There be two of us, Messire Broadbaek." 

La Hire's face became dinted all over, as if every 
fat pore opened its mouth in consternation. "Oh, 
get thee behind me, Sathan ! By all the batons in 
Christendom, see the minion flaunt ! " 

He snatched his cloak and bolted into the house 
out of sight. Haumette sprang upon the table. Her 
wide-featured, snapping-eyed beauty took on unspeak- 
able insolence. "Bring here the horse," she com- 
manded La Hire's page ; and not being hindered by 
his master, he led it to the table, and Haumette be- 
strode it. The coui'ser reared, but the page stUl held 
its huge iron bit, restraining its power, while she with 
the bridle directed its course. 

Jeanne came riding beside the king from the direc- 
tion of Paris, where they had been inspecting the 
ramparts, with a small escort. Her face was marked 
by weariness and discouragement. She wore instead 
of her helmet a hat with turned-up brim cut in battle- 
ments which encircled her forehead like a crown. 
Wind and sun had taken away some of her whiteness, 
and anguish was growing in the hazel eyes from royal 
inertia; but she was a divine sight, which men re- 
membered, and afterward described according to their 
diverse spirits. 

The triumphal march of that glorious summer 
which had given back to their king Soissons, Chateau- 
Thierry, Compifegne, and many another town, with 



206 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

wide stretches of northern country, which had terrified 
the Duke of Bedford from Paris to Normandy, and 
back again to Paris, and had drained new levies of 
men from England, was now to be whoUy lost or wholly 
consummated by its ending at Paris. The regent had 
been cautious about risking decisive battle, but Charles 
had outdone his invaders, so that English and French 
armies only touched in a skirmish near Baron, by 
Senhs. "Paris," said the Duke of Bedford, "is the 
key of France." And Charles seemed loath to stretch 
out his hand and seize the key of his realm. He could 
not advantageously use what was in loyalty given to 
him, while the Eegent of England, in order to carry 
on war, was strong-handed enough to lay a tax even 
on the small pay of his soldiers. 

All the hopelessness of Jeanne's colossal task took 
physical shape in a woman of the camp shocking 
against her with an ill-guided and struggling courser. 
She looked up from her saddle-bow at an impudent 
face defying her even to cleanse the troops. Her eye- 
brows drew together, her nostrils quivered, her hand 
brought up the sword of Fierbois Kke a flash, and 
smote it flat across Haumette Davide's back. The 
blade parted in two. One piece fell under the feet of 
La Hire's horse, and Jeanne stared silently at what 
remained on the hilt in her hand. 

" By my faith ! " said Charles, reddening with dis- 
pleasure, " you have broken the sword of Fierbois on a 
camp-follower. Are there no cudgels in La ChapeUe ? " 

She heard whispers behind her and outcries in the 
houses. The maid had broken her miraculous sword ; 
it was a bad omen ! La Hire's page picked up the 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 207 

fragment, still holding the snorting courser on which 
Hamnette Davide clung and cowered ; and Jeanne tried 
to fit the parts together. The camp armorer came 
running, but he shook his head at the sight. Those 
old blades which could be bent around the body— the 
making of them was a lost art, and the mending of 
them was an art yet undiscovered. 

Jeanne left the sword in his hands without a second 
look. Her eyes dwelt on the creature she had struck. 
It was not her instant recognition or piteous repen- 
.tanee which pierced Haumette Davide. Nor was it 
her blinding greatness that made the depraved one 
crouch before her. It was some nameless power, some 
revealing of light from another world. 

When Jeanne d'Arc had passed on, Haumette 
slipped from the horse and crept to a secluded place 
where she could sit on one of the cylindrical stones 
bestowed at waU sides to keep wheels from chafing. 

" I wish she had run me through with her sword," 
said Haumette ; " it would be too good for such as I 
am, but her sword would not be hurt." 

Next day Paris was assaulted. At night the maid 
was brought by a rabble of troops wounded into La 
ChapeUe, having met her first defeat. It was like a 
rout, where no knight could coUect his retinue, and 
horses clashed harness with one another in the low 
evening light coming across level plains. The young 
Due d'AlenQon was beside her. She rode with her 
head on her breast, unconscious that one mailed foot 
occasionally dripped blood through the clumsy iron 
stirrup. 

Jeanne's victories had been culminations of effort. 



208 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC 

Wlien the French flagged after long fighting, and their 
enemies also relaxed effort, then the spirit seemed to 
come mightily upon her. At early morning assault 
was made on the Porte St. Honore, and lasted until 
evening. Straining with all her might, Jeanne yet 
waited for that certain sign that Paris was given to 
her, when the king and La Tremouille sounded a re- 
treat. It was then twilight. Jeanne, without heed- 
ing the trumpet, led on in the midst of din and crash. 
Two knights, being sent for the purpose, seized her 
and forced her upon her horse. " En nom De, we are 
about to go in," pleaded the struggling puceUe. But 
the tide of retreat had set out, and it carried her 
along. 

" Take this not to heart," urged D'Alen^on, leaning 
toward her. "We wiU try Paris on another side. 
What do you think of the bridge of boats across the 
Seine at St. Denis ? You shall see Paris nearer than 
you have yet seen it, and by the left bank, though we 
ride far to strike where a stroke is least expected." 

" The bridge of boats was well planned ; but, fair 
duke," said Jeanne, throwing up her vizor, and show- 
ing the deep lights of her eyes to this companion in 
arms, " the city was ours this night. We should have 
gone in through the breach we had made. It was 
almost taken." 

" A night's rest and comforting of the bolt-wound 
in your foot wiU not come amiss. Without waiting 
on councils, we will take our people and dash across 
to a new attack at dawn. If your woimd proves too 
sore, send me instant word by your page, puceUe." 

" The wound shall not hinder me ; I scarce knew I 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 209 

had it until they pulled me from the breach. We will 
ride early, fair duke, and that must be a loud trumpet 
that recalls us to-morrow." 

She was ready to laugh, with the prospect of di- 
rectly renewing the assault. And the La Chapelle 
woman in whose house and bedchamber she slept rose 
astonished, in the dark of the morning, to bring her 
the bread and watered wine on which she broke her 
fast. A young maid with a pierced foot in bandages 
and oU, she di-essed in haste like joy itself, to go out 
through fog across a bridge of boats, to be shot at again 
by aU the archers of Paris ! 

Bertrand de Poulengy came with her armor, and as 
he drew the straps with practised fingers she promised 
him relief. 

"We wiU take Paris to-day, Bertrand; and after- 
ward, by exchange of prisoners, we must get poor 
D'Aulon back. You have had double labor since he 
fell into the hands of the BngUsh at Baron. I grieve 
for poor D'Aulon." 

" I also," said Bertrand, with gentle irony— " I grieve 
for poor D'Aulon." 

" I do esteem him, Bertrand." 

" I also," said Bertrand. " As soon as the English 
had him my esteem rose. If they will only keep him, 
I shall in time love him like a brother." 

Jeanne glanced over her shoulder at her squire, who 
was diligent with her buckles. 

"Indeed, D'Aulon never grieved me. But I have 

done myself more discomfort than any other has ever 

done me, by breaking the sword of Fierbois. It can 

never be mended. Oh, Bertrand, I did not come to the 

u 



210 THE DAYS OP JEANKE D'AEC 

wars to break the sword of Fierbois on poor Haumette 
Davide ! " 

" Let it go, and heed it not," said the squire, bring- 
ing her belt with a strong sword which she had taken 
the day before at the Porte St. Honors. " Here is one 
that answers as well to give good blows and clouts 
with." 

She had herself thrown the long-sleeved levite over 
her mail, and as he knelt with her girdle, her unusually 
piteous face broke him down in his vow. He seized 
her hands and kissed them, and trembled with uncon- 
trollable passion. The touch of her was so sweet to 
him, and ease from his long self-restraint was so 
blessed, that he held her with strength until she 
wrenched herself loose, throwing him forward upon 
his palms. 

The squire stood up and faced her, his blue eyes 
dauntless with the rage of his love. Jeanne turned 
her back on him. 

"I win go to Haumette Davide," spoke Bertrand. 
" She is at least a woman. She will speak a word of 
pity to a wretch that has not had his torment eased in 
three long years. My faith, as well as the sword of 
Fierbois, shall be broken on Haumette Davide ! " 

He flung himself into the humid dawn, where fog 
trailed like wet threads in La Chapelle street between 
his face and the face of Louis de Coutes, who held 
Jeanne's courser. 

The page gave little heed to the squire. Holding 
the bridles of war-horse and palfrey, he waited in hag- 
gard excitement to deliver news to the maid. Jeanne 
brought out her casque, which Bertrand had left un- 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 211 

laced, for Louis de Coutes to carry behind her on his 
saddle-bow. The squire was nowhere to be seen, and 
even Pierre failed to attend her. The low sky trailed 
on roofs, and drops of humidity began at once to dim 
her mail like an overcoating of minute beads. 

" The Due d'AleuQon and Messire Pierre d'Arc have 
both gone to St. Denis," said the page, without wait- 
ing for her inquiry. 

" They are in haste, but by hard riding we shaJl 
overtake them. Are the troops all stirring?" 

Louis stood bareheaded before her. The hair curled 
around his neck. "PuceUe, they went to the king. 
They bade me tell you the bridge of boats is cut adrift. 
No one can now cross to attack Paris." 

" When was this thing done ? " 

"Last night." 

" By whose command ? " 

" The king's." 

Jeanne's face stiffened ; but she said directly : " The 
bridge of boats— en nom D4, let it go; we can enter 
elsewhere than by the bridge of boats. "We shall go 
in by the breach made yesterday at Porte St. Honor6. 
Why has the duke gone to the king ? He should be 
riding down hither with his troops. Mount, and after 
him ! I think the men are all mad this morning. 
We have no time for councils and visits of ceremony." 

" But, pucelle," disclosed the page, " King Charles 
has ordered a retreat from Paris." 

The stern maid put her attendant on his defense. 

" Am I to believe this story ? Who left St. Denis in 
the night with such commands from the king ? " 

" His Majesty's own herald. And there was haste ; 



212 THE DAYS OP JEAI^NE D'AEC 

but you were not to be roused from sleep. The Due 
d'Alen^on rode off to St. Denis to inquire into the 
matter, and te himself sent you word that the bridge 
of boats is cut adrift." 

" The king has ordered a retreat from Paris "? " 

" It is the truth, pucelle." 

Jeanne put her arm on her courser's neck, and leaned 
with all the weight of her mail. She gasped as if 
some one had struck her in the breast ; and Louis de 
Coutes, forced to be purveyor of this cruelty, was ready 
to cui'se his sovereign. Yet the courtier's instinct to 
make his own advantage out of another's discomfiture 
was boldly alert in his look. He was sorry for the 
military leader, but he was fiercely glad the woman 
had met a rebuff which might make her kind. The 
boy's eyes filled with honest tears, and he slid to his 
knees, holding the bridles in his arm. 

" Oh, my great mistress, I am of good family. Look 
not on me as your horse-boy. By our Lady, I can 
hold back no longer ! I shall soon be knighted, and 
no woman need then despise me as a husband." 

" Stand up ! " said Jeanne. " Have you no regard 
for your hose, furnished by a poor king who has just 
been forced to throw away Paris ? " 

" If I stand up at no kinder bidding, it will be to 
lay your squire low." 

" Go to the king, Louis de Coutes, and tell him I 
now have no need of a page. Ask him any favor he 
can do you for my sake. We shall part at St. Denis." 

The enraged boy followed her as she took her own 
bridle from him to mount. " I wiQ not be turned off 
like a varlet ! " His large, light eyes and loose lips 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC 213 

and tlie thick tip of his nose seemed distended by 
aggressiveness. 

Bnt he knew he had banished himself from the maid, 
and her reserve, as she looked down from the saddle, 
chilled him and sealed his mouth. She thanked him 
for his service, commended him again to the king, and 
rode off. Louis de Coutes struck the earth-stains on 
his shins, and glanced at neighboring windows. La 
Chapelle was stirring in the sullen dawn. He could 
do nothing but mount his palfrey and follow at a dis- 
tance, debarred from his page's duties. 

Early as it was, the abbey of St. Denis, where 
the king lodged, showed preparations for departure. 
Charles carried with him such luxuries as he could, 
and he never for any military consideration omitted a 
dinner or a night's rest. But he was as near eager- 
ness as his phlegmatic nature ever approached to be 
done with the campaign and on the southward road. 

To retreat from the capital without taking it at that 
time meant to disband the army. Officers and their 
retinues signed indentures of service for a specified 
number of months, and without reenlistment they 
could not even go into winter quarters to be at the 
disposal of the sovereign, though many knights and 
nobles, among them La Hire, De Xantrailles, and the 
Due d'Alen^on, would retire into the north to hold 
towns and fortresses. 

Seldom had so much been done by loyal subjects 
for an impoverished monarch. The pucelle herself 
had acted as his treasurer, husbanding his means to 
the utmost, and holding the retinues of his captains so 
devoted to her that they would have served for noth- 



214 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'ARC 

ing but their bread. Those northern cities that had 
returned to their allegiance needed the protection of 
the capital. Charles left them to shift for themselves. 
Master of Paris, where the Duke of Burgundy was 
the most popular man in the kingdom, he might have 
treated successfully with that alienated vassal. 

The west door of the cathedral of St. Denis opened 
from a mean street crowded with many little shops. 
Jeanne entered it lame-footed, coming from her inter- 
view with the king, about the middle of the forenoon. 
Within she sat down on the steps which form a short 
terrace to a vast expanse of floor. Opposite, far away, 
stood the great altar bearing up a gold Christ between 
two tail candles. Echoes resounded in the Gothic 
arches from a service in one of the chapels. Jeanne 
set her helmet, which she still carried, on the floor be- 
side her, a polished head-piece, like the top of a knight 
embedded in stone. 

The king had commanded her to. follow him to 
Bourges. Already the retreat from Paris was begun, 
though it would have to be covered by troops, and La 
Chapelle and St. Denis would not be entirely evacu- 
ated for several days. She leaned her face on her 
hands, too sore in body and spirit to creep down for 
a prayer before the nearest altar. A tardy sun was 
begiuning to make glimmers through the clerestory 
windows high above. 

Her enemies, of whom she had scarcely thought in the 
ardor of war and fatigue of many marches, now pressed 
her in defeat, and seemed to follow her under the 
arches of St. Denis. The Regent of England and the 
Duke of Burgundy Jeanne left out of account. They 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 215 

were to be met in open field. But there was La Tr^- 
motiille, covert and mocking, a man who had never 
been earnest in anything except the pursuit of his 
own pleasure. He had done as much to bring the 
campaign to naught as if he held secret league with 
the English. La Tr^mouiUe had also prevented the 
queen from journeying to Rheims, thus robbing her 
of coronation. And there was La Tr^mouille's friend, 
the Count-Bishop of Beauvais, who had some little 
quarrel against her concerning horses bought of him 
by her household, and perhaps a larger hatred for that 
most unreasonable of all reasons— jealousy of power. 
Moreover, there was the Archbishop of Rheims, the 
favorite's brother, who had taken that same strange 
attitude towardher. "En nomDe !"whisperedJeanne, 
" if they thought more of the king's dignity, and less 
of their own, it would be the better for Prance." 

But there, also, were her friends, scores, thousands, 
men, women, children, stout knights and nobles and 
men-at-arms. Answering the silent roU-call of her 
need, one of them entered the cathedral. The inner 
door swung shut behind him. He was, like herself, 
all armed except his head, and carried a plumed hat 
in his hand when he saw her. The knight who had 
refused to follow her standard at Orleans was first to 
seek her in defeat at St. Denis. 

The maid's eyes met his in a long gaze of sorrow. 
He stooped to one knee to talk mth her. Their low 
voices did not spread from one little circle of sound 
in the echoing cathedral. 

"Has anything further befallen us, Messire de 
Gamaches ? " 



216 THE DAYS OF JEAJSTNE D'ARC 

" No, pucelle. I come to beg that there be no adieus 
betwixt us two." 

" Why, we must all part, Messire de G-amaches. But 
I tell you, and I have been informed truly, however it 
may go with you and me, there will not be an English- 
man left on the soil of France within seven years." 

" God send there be no favorites left, either. Do 
you desire to follow the king ? " 

" I would far rather go home and tend my sheep, 
messire, which you would have had me do at Orleans ! " 

" You do not forget that I rebelled against follow- 
ing your standard before it had led us to so many 
victories 1 " 

" I remember you offered me your horse when I took 
my first wound." 

" Not my horse alone, but my lands and myself I am 
ready to offer you now. Pucelle, I am of good family, 
though scarce your equal in arms." 

"Messire de Gamaches, there be plenty of women 
in France for wives. You may easily choose among 
them ; I never saw a more accomplished knight. But 
I was born to other uses. The king had best employ 
my time, for it will not be long." 

"I have a regard for you, pucelle, that I have for 
no other, man or woman. We have been captains to- 
gether, and I had liefer be commanded by you than 
by any other. When you take the field agaiu I will 
follow your standard." 

" Messire, you have given me the only comfort I 
have had this day. When the king has so many good 
men ready in his hand, how can he disperse them? 
But it is the favorite's doing." 

" Yes, the apricots like little red apples will be past 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 217 

fclieir season in Bourges, if La Tr6motinie makes no 
haste to disband the army. I have heard him mourn 
the loss of them, together with his ease." 

" Yet he tilted well by SenMs, messire." 

" A man must sometimes shiver a lance, or age will 
come on him in his youth. Pucelle, I am loath to let 
you go south to yonder court." 

Jeanne gave him both her hands in farewell. Their 
gauntlets met with a metallic sound. She thought, 
" When shall I see such goodly arrays of men gathered 
again ? " Her eyes swam, her chin quivered. As these 
companions in arms had met, so they parted, with a 
long look of sorrow. The closing door swung silently 
behind De Gamaches, and Jeanne limped slowly down 
the steps, helmet in hand. 

No more would that casque lead like a star in as- 
saults. It had been broken by a stone at Jargeau. 
She traced the closed seam which an armorer had skil- 
fully made. 

One old woman with kerchief-bound head, and a 
wrinkled man in blue smock, knelt at their prayers. 
Pattering with unceasing lips, they watched the glit- 
tering figure, already loved in St. Denis, pass along the 
cathedral wall. Jeanne felt her wound to f aintness as 
she descended to the crypt under this church, where 
all the kings of France, from Dagobert, were buried. 
Low stone galleries wound about vaults and chapels 
in which the great gray coffins were enshrined. Charles 
had given up these as well as his capital to the enemy. 
She dragged her foot along the stone path, or leaned 
her forehead against the side of a cold arch. The 
crypt was deadly chill. 

Another mailed tread followed her, and she saw 



218 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

Poton de Xantrailles coming, tall and well-tliewed, 
thin-faced and sharp-eyed, but downcast, as though 
he bent his head to escape the top of the crypt. Like 
all the captatas, he was ready harnessed, for a general 
attack on Paris had been intended by way of the bridge 
of boats. 

Jeanne felt her heart unendurably swelling toward 
the scattering army. De XantraiUes, with the gentle 
manners of courts, controlled himself, and gave her 
first a message from the king, who would know, siace 
she had dismissed her page, young Louis de Coutes, 
if she desired to have Louis's brother Raymond in- 
stead. 

" En nom D6," answered Jeanne, " let me have no 
more of the De Coutes family." She laughed. " The 
knights are dispersing, and Paris is thrown away, and 
we must take thought only of pages. But understand 
well, I do not blame my king, Messire de XantraOles." 

He stood high above the maid. His vizor was lifted. 
De XantraiUes had witnessed the glories of the court 
of Burgundy— a duchy that outdid many kingdoms in 
splendor, where tournaments were oftener celebrated 
than anywhere else in Christendom, and chivalry, in- 
stead of falling to decay, was at its height. But loyalty 
which excused the lax relinquishment of a kingdom 
he had not often seen. 

" Have you heard the cause of this sudden retreat ? " 
he inquired. 

"No, messire." 

" Charles has just completed making a truce with 
the Duke of Burgundy until Easter." 

" The only truce with the Duke of Burgundy should 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 219 

be made at tlie point of a lance ! He showed his sov- 
ereign nothing but contempt when a message was sent 
from Rheims beseeching him to throw in his lot with 
his people. The English only desire to use him." 

" You had scarce left the king, pucelle, when a knight 
came riding from Paris with sixty followers to join 
the royal party. He says the city was never so ready 
to yield. But we have made truce with Burgundy, so 
we go home." 

Tears, always ready in Jeanne from childhood, 
gushed down the oval cheeks. She turned and sobbed 
against the wall. Oh, it was bitter to be ruined at the 
goal by a courtier's misgovernment ! 

"Jeanne," said De XantraiHes, trembling in the 
voice, " I am appointed governor of Coucy, the strong- 
est fortress in France. I am of good family." 

The maid drew her breath sharply at these ominous 
words. 

" I wiU demand you of your brother Pierre, and also 
of the king, as any maid should be demanded. Come 
with me to Coucy. The wife of De XantraiUes may 
at least live apart from a court ruled by the favorite." 

"En nom De, what ails these men?" cried Jeanne. 
" Have you aU agreed to take pity on a poor scourge 
of England because she is thrown aside, and house her 
since she has no field for her arms ? But I know why 
you come to me with tears in your eyes, thinking com- 
fort may be found in marriage. It is the cry of France 
rending every one of us." 

She set her casque on the floor, and took him by both 
gauntlets, as she had taken that other good knight, 
De Gamaches. Her companion in arms worshiped her 



220 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 

Silently, without daring to draw her nearer his mailed 
body. 

As if she coiild not bear any further words of part- 
ing from captains who felt this general bereavement 
as she felt it, Jeanne snatched up her helmet, and 
limped away from De XantraUles along the crypt. 

Behind the choir of St. Denis, and back of the great 
altar, was a little chapel to the Virgin. Bertrand de 
Poulengy was kneeHng there. He heard a halting step 
behind him, and turned and saw the maid. With her 
eyes fixed on the statue, she began to unbuckle her 
armor. Exhausted and ghastly, and struggling with 
her unaccustomed task, she yielded him back his of&ce 
of sqiure without a word of reproach, standing ia the 
stained light which poured over her from high windows. 

" I went to Haumette Davide," he whispered to the 
maid. "She is going home to her mother with De 
Metz of Novelopont, when he has taken leave of you. 
Win you call me D'AuIon hereafter— the squire who 
never caused you any discomfort? Let me take his 
place while he is a prisoner." 

" I have no longer need of squire or armor," answered 
Jeanne ; " yet I cannot well do without you." 

" That is enough for me." 

" You are fit to approach this altar ? " 

" I am not unfit." 

The squire helped her carry all the pieces of her 
armor and place them about the feet of the statue. 
Jeanne knelt, and lifted her sword by the blade in both 
hands, with the cross-hilt over her head. 

" My vii'gin armor I sacrifice and offer here upon 
this altar. It is the cry of France ! " 



XIII 




ITTLE king of Bourges" thougli Charles 
VII was called by his enemies, he had no 
palace there, and was obliged to use the 
ch&teau of his uncle, the Due de Berri, who 
retired for the winter to another outside the walls. 
The ch&teau of Bourges was a wide, stately pile of 
stone, blackened instead of bleached by age, seated 
among threading streets and crowding houses, half- 
way up a slope of land at the top of which stood St. 
fitienne's cathedral. Common soldiers and attendants 
entered the chateau from the street below by a court 
opening into guard-rooms. But the Chevalier du Lys 
turned in at one of the great gates which, standing 
opposite, made a crossing street of the paved court 
fronting the palace. 

Pages were always hastening up or down the stone 
steps, and horses waiting in the court, except at this 
hour when night fell and candle-light began to glim- 
mer. A torch burned at each side of the steps, strug- 
gling with foggy air, and the stones were slippery with 
hardening moisture under the chevalier's feet. He 
passed through half-deserted antechambers,— for at 

221 



222 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

dusk the king still sat at table,— and througli long 
vaulted corridors to the great hall where the court 
assembled for its evening diversions. Sconced candles 
were already lighted along the pillared walls, and logs 
roared in the chimney. It was a mighty chimney, 
carved aU around with stone oak-leaves. HaJf a dozen 
knights could have spurred into it, elbow to elbow, 
without grazing their casques on the top. Its swelling 
breast withdrew upward to a many-timbered ceiling. 
And there the firelight twinkled on polished joists, 
while below it spread a river of shine along the floor, 
partially bridged by three figures in front of the 
hearth. 

The chevalier saw that they were his sister and the 
young demoiselles Agnes Sorel and Madeleine Power. 
They did not see him. Even Jeanne was dwarfed by 
the size of the great room. His heart gave a leap, and, 
uncertain whether he should enter while they three 
talked by themselves, he stood at the door holding his 
hat in his hand. The beauty of Agnes Sorel when 
wrath stirred her was like coruscating light. But he 
paid no attention to her or to what she said. He looked 
at Madeleine Power. As soon as the Chevalier du Lys 
had received his patent of nobility, supported by a 
grant of land near Orl6ans, and had ceased to be called 
Pierre d'Arc, he asked one more favor of the king, 
without which the first two were thi'own away upon 
him. But he was made to understand that La Tr6- 
mouille had already contracted the demoiselle Power 
in a suitable alliance. 

Jeanne and Madeleine stood with their arms around 
each other. AU of Agnes's hair was drawn up from 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 223 

her clear forehead under a hennin, and lier cheeks 
burned scarlet with excitement. 

" This horn- a thing hath been said to me," exclaimed 
Agnes, with a pretty catch of her breath as she spoke, 
which was nobody's but Agnes Sorel's, " such as never 
should be said to maid by the mother-in-law of a king." 

" But Queen Yolande is very good-natured," Made- 
leine objected. " I never heard her speak amiss." 

" Oh, her Majesty of Sicily intends me high honor, 
no doubt. But I was not brought up in a court. We 
are better nurtured at Loches." 

"What did she say?" inquired Jeanne, seeing the 
statecraft of Queen Yolande, and her latest attempt to 
juggle troops and men out of nothing for the siege of 
La Charite after the dispersion of the army. 

" I will not tell you. It was an insidt also to my 
king. Only a year ago so eager was I to come to court 
that I could scarce wait untU my kinswoman resigned 
her place to me. And now I am sick to my soul of 
base creatures trying to ruin their sovereign before 
all Christendom. Any woman would set what wit she 
had against it. Look not over-conscious, demoiselle ; 
we do not choose our relations in this world." 

" I never chose any but my father," returned Made- 
leine. 

" Poor child, you wiU choose no more, shut up in the 
queen's nunnery apartments. Oh, if I were Queen of 
France I would come out of seclusion, and no other 
woman should share with me the rousing of the king." 

" He is wedded to Bourges and SuUy," said Jeanne, 
wistfully looking at the fire. "The sight of Paris 
should have roused him." 



224 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 

Agnes Sorel laughed. 

" Pucelle, I believe yon see nothing in this court but 
the length and strength of men's legs and arms idhng 
out of armor. Aside from war, you are as simple as 
an infant." 

The Chevalier du Lys heard this as he stood aside 
bowing deeply to let the king pass, and he knew it 
was so. Many soft-shod feet trod the pavement as the 
crowd of courtiers flocked after the king, who leaned 
on La Tr^mouille's arm. Silks and satins shone lus- 
trously, nor were slashed sleeves wanting, to show 
robes of linen underneath. Pierre had heard De Xan- 
trailles say that linen, and especially clean linen, was 
a luxury everywhere in France, except at the court of 
Burgundy. 

He fell into the tide of human presences. Charles's 
household soon gave themselves up to the newly in- 
vented diversion of card-playing. The queen had a 
religious dislike of what she called idle bits of paper, 
and absented herself from the salon where the game 
was nightly played. Marie of Anjou, though an un- 
usually compliant wife in many ways, had not the sym- 
pathetic breadth of her mother, Queen Yolande, who 
dealt with zest and fluttering hands, relaxing a mind 
filled with schemes for establishing the throne of 
France. 

Little ceremony was observed; Charles demanded 
none of the worship which his cousin of Burgundy 
exacted. Seated at many small tables, with many 
small piles of coin at stake, the courtiers filled the room 
with hum of voices and laughter. Alan Chartier, the 
court poet, wandered from table to table, as it was his 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 225 

custom to do, holding a lute in the curve of his arm. 
The king had Agnes Sorel for his partner, and La 
Tr^mouille and his queen's latest maid of honor for 
his opponents. La Tr^mouiUe wasted no attentions 
on his niece, and Madeleine was first seen in hall that 
night after her winter of mourning. She learned her 
part doubtfully. Pierre could see her eyebrows draw- 
ing together. She lifted her black eyes and met his 
gaze with silentt greeting, and this was all the greeting 
they two had been allowed since he came to Bourges. 
In his comings and goings from his lodgings in the 
street Trois Pommes, a little place near the city wall, 
and in the cathedral and palace corridors, he had 
watched for glimpses of Madeleine. Yet even at the 
lax court of Bourges she was so celled and restricted 
that he saw her only at a distance. After the rejec- 
tion of his suit he had gladly followed his sister from 
court in her brief restricted campaign eastward. The 
Chevalier du Lys felt how alien his sister and he were 
with their new patent of nobility. 

If Charles had concluded a treaty with the King of 
Scotland for help in his wars, it would have cost him 
the duchy of Berri or the county of Evreus. Jeanne 
d'Arc had cost him nothing, and was a greater terror 
to his foes, and with her thrifty peasant hand had doled 
his war funds to the uttermost advantage. The least 
he could do for her was to rank her among nobles, so 
a patent was conferred on her and all her family. The 
heralds made her a coat of arms, giving her the mas- 
culine shield instead of the feminine lozenge, and the 
device of the crown upheld on the point of her sword 
between royal fleurs-de-lis. Du Lys was the new name 



226 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AKC 

of her family. But she made no change in her banner, 
and said to the heralds, " I remain Jeanne d'Arc. My 
father's name is good enough for me, though my 
brothers may like the other." 

During this dreary winter of her chained inactivity, 
a woman named Catherine of Rochelle came to court 
with visions ; and there was news of a shepherd boy in 
the mountains who promised to do for the king what 
Jeanne had undertaken, and to do it better. The 
favorite also bestirred himself, and found employment 
which would take the maid out of his sight for a while. 
She was sent to take St. Pierre-le-Moustier, southeast 
of Bourges, which she took as by miracle, and La 
Charite, northward, which was so strongly fortified 
with watch-towers as to resist a siege. Bourges en- 
gaged her octrois, and Orleans also sent her succors, 
says a chronicle, but the court provided nothing. The 
ground was frozen hard, slippery with frost, and 
showers of crystals filled the air like diamond-dust. 
Jeanne was glad to have armor again upon her body, 
though it was an ill-fitting suit obtained from the Due 
de Berri, and glad to be afield and see the sun describe 
his little arc in the south. But La Charit6 had to be 
abandoned. Once her spirit rose beyond control, and 
she rode, with her squire and her brother and a few 
attendants, to Orleans and Jargeau and Montfaugon. 
There the people stDl thought of France. But she 
heard what almost slew her. The state of the country 
was now worse than it had been before she took up 
arms. Invaders and robbers were alike made bold by 
Charles's withdrawal from the north ; and the English 
forced exile or death on defenseless people who would 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 227 

not forswear their loyalty. Whole villages stood ten- 
antless, the inhabitants having journeyed into other 
countries. Pestilence also followed the long famine. 
Everywhere the earth, rant with centuries of foul ac- 
cumulations, yielded up their odor to dampness. It 
was told her that wolves prowled even in Paris, that 
skeletons of children lay on dunghills, and the cry of 
wandering wretches could be heard in the night— "I 
am dying of cold and hunger ! " Yet Paris was then 
the pleasantest city in France, with covered bridges 
and orchards, vineyards and towered fortresses. The 
Bastille stood among trees. That winter trenches 
were cut and bodies laid in the ground like corded 
wood. 

Pierre could see the intrigues around him. He 
knew that Queen Tolande constantly threw Agnes 
Sorel in the king's way, and that the Queen of France 
was resigned to desperate measures against La Tr6- 
momUe. He saw the eyes of that young maid of honor, 
defiant against her pursuer, yet melting constantly in 
helpless tenderness upon the king. He saw and en- 
joyed the jealous rage of La Tr6mouille, who brought 
counter-forces to bear in a war suited to a favorite's 
talents ; and many another hand-to-hand encounter 
Pierre could see betwiKt courtiers sleepy-eyed with 
dissipation. 

But Jeanne saw nothing. Whenever she came into 
hall, a supple, noble figure, her rapt gaze moving from 
face to face, she was a rebuke, being above aU martial 
glory the maid, virgin in mind and person, the maid 
of France. 

" Why should the paschal lamb be paraded ? " was 



228 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 

spitefully said behind her back. " Turn it out again 
to its native grass." 

" Oh, Jeanne d'Arc ! " a courtier would groan to 
some face within the screen of a fan. " La-la ! I am 
so sick of this puceUe. She can take pleasure in no 
human pursuit, but must be praying or riding and 
fighting. A lover would be more to the purpose at 
her age, but she will not even make love. The king 
might amuse himself better with a dwarf." 

Yet the maid laughed in fellowship and without bit- 
terness when she came back flushed from St. Pierre- 
le-Moustier, or from rushing through the winter air on 
her courser. Her face was not sad, but it wore the 
puzzled look of one constrained to waste on lower things 
a space of time given for robust action. Housing and 
trivial amusements were hard for her to endure, when 
the pulse of Prance was again reviving in the north. 

Jeanne remained leaning against the chimney, being 
left out when tables were set for cards. She was richly 
dressed, as the king required her to be, wearing over 
the fine cloth of her chevalier's costume a crimson- vel- 
vet levite. The long, loose sleeves almost covered her 
hands, on one of which she wore the ring her father 
had given her at Rheims. A lean chUd like a wolf 
stood near, and watched her with sharp eyes, seeming 
to measure her capacity for war, and sagely to appre- 
ciate her as one of the engines for extending his future 
kingdom. A servant of the queen's bedchamber did 
reverent battle with him to draw him from this spec- 
tacle for the night. But he escaped out of this person's 
hands with slippery ease, and roved at will among 
the tables. 



THE DATS OP JEANXE IVAKC 229 

Then Alan Chartier approached, playing softly on 
the Inte he carried a chanson which Jeanne remem- 
bered. She met his eyes quickly. The conrt poet was 
this winter too often at her heels ; yet she had sym- 
pathy with him, as one seeking also for expression, 
and sometimes falling into great sadness with life. 

" What will yon do with me, pncelle ? " asked Alan 
Chartier, making accompaniment to his words on the 
lute-strings. " You have got a mastery over me that 
grows from day to day." 

" God be praised for that," laughed Jeanne. " I 
have, then, at least one man-at-arms." 

" There is a woman soul in me, and in you there is 
the soul of a man. Will you put me to the further 
disadvantage of suing for your love?" 

" Nenni," answered Jeanne, using the strong peasant 
negative. " That I will not, messire." 

" The pucelle hath just received a declaration from 
Alan Chartier," remarked Agnes Sorel to Charles. 
" He plays that purring tune when his affections are 
about to make a spring." 

" Jumps the cat that way ? " responded the king, 
glancing up the room. His stunted dauphin, the wolf- 
Uke child, crept behind Agnes, and tweaked hairs on 
her white neck below the hennin. 

" It was merely the Dauphin Louis amusing him- 
self," said a smiling dame at the next table to her, as 
she recoiled in pain. 

" If the nurse does not remove that boy, I trust God 
may ! " Agnes responded ; and Charles himself laughed. 
But she caught a gentle caution from the smooth- 
shaven, clear-cut face of Jacques Cceur, the silversmith 



230 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC 

of Bourges, wliose many favors to the king gave him 
access at any time to court. His friendly smile checked 
her impatience with a child to whose making had gone a 
mad grandfather and a corrupt and selfish grandmother. 

Pierre dealt his cards indifferently. He had been 
shoved beside the wall to fill a table far from Made- 
leine Power, and cared little whether he won or lost 
coin. He could perceive what was befalling Agnes 
Sorel in spite of her strict bringing up ; and with the 
complete rebellion of youth, he declared to himself that 
happiness bought at any price was better than such 
misery as his. Madeleine Power had never thought of 
him. She was promised in marriage to another man 
whose name he could not learn. And after he had 
watched for her with heart-sick patience so many 
months, she glanced at him once, as at any varlet. 

The evening waxing later, card-tables were put 
aside for dancing, and Pierre followed his sister into 
the upper corridors of the palace. Jeanne also had 
lodged in the street Trois Pommes, and afterward with 
the wife of Jacques Cceur ; but this being the eve of 
the court's departure to Sully, she slept in the palace. 
They walked in sUence, both having lost the fresh joy 
of life, until Pierre opened the door of a small tower 
chamber which Jeanne shared with a maid of honor. 
She kissed him on his cheeks, and said : 

"Good night, Pierrelo. Be early in the saddle. 
SuIly-sur-Loire is the chateau of La Tr^momlle ; but 
at least we go toward Compi^gne, where I have reason 
to believe our people may now be fighting." 

" You saw the demoiselle Paure in the hall, Jehan- 
nette?" 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC 231 

" Yes ; both before and after tlie king entered." 

" Does tbe queen go to SuUy ? " 

" The queen goes, but Madeleine Paure does not." 

Hatred of Sully that instant entered Pierre. 

" I love her as if she were our Catherine, Pierrelo. 
But put all thoughts of marriage out of your head 
until France is better at ease." 

" Since no marriage is made for me, how can I do 
otherwise ? " 

" I did my best for thee, Pierrelo, though it is a 
marvel to me how men can desire to wed when they 
have no country. But here in this court they think of 
nothing but lute-playing and the talk of lovers. Are 
there not enough starving families now in France with- 
out founding more ? " 

" Jehannette, in some ways you do not grow at all, 
but remain a chUd." 

" That part of me which does not grow is not needed," 
reflected Jeanne. 

"But why does the demoiselle Paure remain here, 
if the queen goes to SuUy ? " inquired Pierre, desiring 
to find some excuse for remaining himself. 

" She does not remain here. She goes to Loches, 
where her family are about to celebrate her marriage." 

Pierre turned sick. " Who is the man, Jehannette ? " 

" Young Louis de Coutes ! " Jeanne smiled in the 
face of his misery. " That froward lad, my page. But 
he is of good family, as he himself assured me ; one 
of the richest in Touraine, the demoiselle Agnes says, 
and the king wUl early knight him for good services." 

"Louis de Coutes! No wonder her family were 
close-mouthed with the bridegroom's name. A boy 



232 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

—a scribe fellow that wrote yoiir letters and set down 
your acconnts ! " 

"He is mine own age, Pierrelo, and mnch older in 
nobility than a chevalier called Du Lys." 

" He shall not have her ! Doth she Uke this mar- 
riage, Jehannette?" 

"I did not ask her," answered Jeanne, with such 
candor that the miserable chevaher smUed. 

" That insolent Louis de Coutes who drew sword 
against Bertrand at St. Denis ! " 

"Did he so?" 

Pierre sent the whistling Domremy yes betwixt his 
lips. "And Bertrand gave him the wound that has 
kept him out of court this winter, while his family ar- 
range for him this marriage. Louis de Coutes hath 
despite against us." 

" If it had not been Louis de Coutes, it had been 
some other man not a peasant from the march of Lor- 
raine. We could not hope that the favorite would 
make any alliance with us. I have caused a letter to 
be sent to Tours asking that five hundred livres tour- 
nois be voted by the city to the marriage portion of 
Messire Paure's daughter. He painted my banner. 
It is the only reward I have ever asked for my services 
to France, except the lifting of the tax from Domremy." 

A candle in the chamber shone on Pierre, showing 
his hardening face, which had matured since the wind 
along the Meuse blew rings of hair over his forehead. 
The tan of a military summer was cleared from his 
lovable features by partial housing. A reckless look 
sprang into his gray eyes. 

" I wiU not care. It shall be nothing to me." 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 233 

" Oh, Pierrelo, I wish we could go home ! " 

Pierre gave her a sidewise glance. "But what 
would we do in Domremy now, Jehannette ? For me, 
it is my wish to go where La Hire and De XantraUles 
and the Due d'Alengon are. I would see some more 
fighting." 

Jeanne herself laughed eagerly. "Has Bertrand 
m ade all our preparations for the journey to-morrow ? " 

" He forgets nothing. I left him polishing your old 
mail." 

Pierre kissed his sister on both her cheeks, bade her 
good night again, and turned to leave the palace. 

A few torches were fastened along the stone walls, 
overlaying with a new smear of blackness the breath 
of past torches as chUl drafts of air flowed by. His 
echoing steps brought him nearer the staircase, and 
there Madeleine Power met him, running up from the 
hall below. They both paused and looked at each 
other, and Pierre knew she had come on purpose to 
intercept him. He heard the music. A wave of color 
carried the hardness from his face, and left it pliant 
with all that a man cannot say. To see her so near 
at hand was to be enthralled into forgetting what had 
happened and what might come. 

This demoiselle in court dress was more a woman 
than the maid in her mother's old clothes at Loches, 
or the peasant who carried water from St. Martin's 
well. Pierre looked his last on her black eyes and 
bright hair. Madeleine was made small and perfect 
like an ivory miniature. A perfume sweet as linden 
flowers went with her, conquering the rankness of the 
torches. 



234 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 

" Chevalier du Lys, I have something which belongs 
to you, and I would not return it by any other hand 
than my own." 

Pierre felt the old palace strike cold through him as 
he remembered the horse-money at Tours. There 
were the coins showing through the silk netting of a 
new purse. His voice and hands shook, but he made 
a doubtful face over his examination of it. 

" This does not belong to me, demoiselle." 

" You have forgotten, but I have not. You dropped 
a bag in my pannier at Tours. At first I thought it 
was a miracle of the blessed St. Martin ; but when my 
father heard about you he knew better." 

" If St. Martin parted his cloak to a miserable beg- 
gar, would he fail of gifts to pilgrims?" 

" St. Martin gave only at need, chevalier. He knew 
my mother's family would not let my father and me 
starve." 

" Do you want me to take this purse 1 " 

" It is clear the money is yours." 

" Then keep it as a peasant's offering to his lady's 
marriage." 

Her face fell. She looked at the hilt of his sword. 

"It is ungentle to remind me of marriage." 

"I have been told that your marriage is soon to be 
celebrated." 

" There is much, chevalier, that I would like to ask 
your advice about. My father said you were a man to 
be trusted. But you have avoided me ever since you 
came to court." 

"Avoided you, demoiselle? I have watched for 
you every day." 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC 235 

" If you had watched for me you must have found 
some way to show me kindness. I have no friend now, 
chevalier. With the exception of the pucelle, there 
is no woman I love at court, and I see her seldom. 
No one in the world has need of me as my father 
had." 

The innocent child who had walked with him into 
St. Martin's cave, holding to his hand because the 
place was dark, looked at him again through the eyes 
of this maid of honor. He could hear his own heart 
pounding, and the rival with whom her marriage was 
to be celebrated passed out of his mind. 

" Demoiselle Madeleine, I myself have such need of 
you that I swear to be your bachelor for Hf e. Because 
my proposals were thought unfit for you, that shall 
make no difference with me." 

"You made proposals for me, chevalier? When 
did you make proposals ? " Her face was white and 
haughty. It disturbed Pierre, but he answered with 
hardihood : 

" As soon as I was raised to a rank which made the 
proposals possible." 

" My family refused them?" 

" Your family refused them." 

Madeleine heard her aunt De Beuil ascending the 
staircase behind her on almost silent feet. She had ex- 
pected to be followed as soon as she was missed. But 
she looked at Pierre with a swift and silent and hope- 
less acknowledgment. 

Long after she had been walked in disgrace to the 
queen's apartments through IJie tunnel-Kke corridors 
of the palace, he stood leaning against the wall, stupe- 



236 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

fled by unreasonable joy, and trying to recall the flasli 
wMeli had fallen upon him. 

His mind went no further than that look, and he 
wrapped himself in the thought of it when he passed 
out through the palace gates. 

There were few lights in the close-built town, on 
hillocks or iu vaUeys where roofs pressed together. 
Pierre glanced up at the Eoman towers where Jacques 
Coeur's new ch§,teau was to be founded. No wonder 
the king loved Bourges. How pleasant and hospitable 
was the province of Berri ! There had been a fore- 
casting in his mind that, in spite of all drawbacks, 
some good awaited him in Berri. 



XIV 




^IHE May afternoon was waning in Com- 
pifegne. It had been a golden day for the 
north provinces at that season of the year, 
and the city was put in a joyful stir by 
the coming of the pucelle. She had arrived at dawn, 
with about five hundred men, from Cr^py, and entered 
on the south side, unseen by the besiegers on the 
north. Splendidly moimted and equipped, her saddle- 
cloth made of cloth of gold, a crimson levite belted 
over her armor, her standard displayed, she cantered 
with her troops toward the bridge gate ; for it had been 
concerted with the Captain of Compifegne that she 
should strike and surprise the Burgundians at Margny 
before the sun went down, cutting off the farther camp 
of Clarois from the English at Venette. 

It was not the first time the maid had been seen in 
Compi^gne since Easter. In April, when English 
captains were about to embark fresh troops for France, 
they refused to go. "The witch is out again," they 
declared to their angry ofilcers. " It is true she hath 
not been seen in the north since autumn ; but soldiers 
have this feeling only when she is afield." They de- 

237 



238 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

serted in crowds. Beating and imprisonment liad no 
effect on them. Only those wlio could not escape were 
forced on board. 

Then the Duke of Bedford heard the maid was ac- 
tually at Melun, and had helped the inhabitants drive 
out the English garrison. As swiftly, she was at 
Lagny-sur-Marne, striking English marauders. She 
had leaped again into the field, for there had never been 
any truce with the iuvaders, and Charles's truce with 
the Duke of Burgundy expired at Easter. The French 
were renewing their struggle without the king. The 
Bastard of Orleans, who had been made Count Dunois, 
was pushing, with the Due d'Alengon, toward St. 
Denis. At first it was told in terrified Paris that the 
maid was coming to renew her attack. She certainly 
attempted, both by Soissons and Pont-1'Eveque, to 
break her way southward. But Compi^gne, the most 
important town of northern Prance, often besieged and 
harried by the invaders, holding fast to its loyalty, was 
at this time threatened by both Burgundians and Eng- 
lish. The French captains flocked to the maid. The 
Duke of Bedford at once issued a proclamation against 
soldiers and officers who should " be terrified by the 
enchantments of this puceUe." 

Her squire and the Chevalier du Lys, her brother, 
knew with what force she had sprung into the field. 
They rode alone with her out of Sully-sur-Loire with- 
out the king's knowledge or consent, a few needful 
things strapped behind their high saddle-backs. It 
was a three-days' ride to Melun across rough country 
and up the long ridge of Fontainebleau forest. Pierre 
thought with hatred of Sully-sur-Loire, the most in- 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 239 

hospitable place in France— a many-towered castle, 
with pointed roofs, and curtains of stone, rising from 
a river-like moat. It stood beside the Loire ; but how 
dreary was the great river at Sully, running deep along 
the high bank, and spreading far off in shallows, seem- 
ing to cut France off from the north ! 

At SuUy, Pierre had watched day after day in vain 
for Madeleine Power. The morning the court left 
Bourges he was early afoot, determined to press his 
suit again ; but a page wearing the De Beml livery came 
to him with a message for the pucelle. The demoiselle 
Power sent word that her marriage was to be post- 
poned, and she was to join the court at Sully. So easy 
was it for Pierre to believe what was told him that he 
suspected no trick, until La Tr6mouille's insolent hos- 
pitality, which made every mouthful of bread bitter, 
forced the truth upon him. Madeleine Power was not 
brought to Sully, and he heard no more of her. He 
thought of dashing out by himself to Loches. But if 
he were there, what had he to offer a demoiselle who 
had merely looked at him ? Should he carry her off by 
violence ? 

"Pierrelo," Jeanne once said to him, "do you re- 
member the huge red snails around Bermont spring? 
They must be creeping forth ; and aU the Meuse valley 
is quickening with green. I cannot stay here idling 
any longer, where we are not wanted, and so little time 
remains to me." 

" God he knoweth I have no stomach for this place," 
answered Pierre, " and less care what becomes of me 
now, so I go free of it." What lonelier spot was there 
in France than this old vUlage of worm-eaten carved 



240 THE DATS OF JEANNE D'AEO 

timbers, clustering around a feudal stronghold ? And 
how delicious was the forest of Pontainebleau after 
Sully-sur-Loire ! 

The second night the three riders came to a deep 
oval valley in the forest, a vast cup of white and gray 
rock. Sunset was behind as they descended into the 
gorge, a pink flame mounting the sky sparkles upon 
sparkles, the rosy smoke sweeping the zenith. And 
when they had picked their way across, and ascended 
to the opposite forest level, there, in sand as soft as 
ashes, rock turned to dust without grain, stood ruined 
walls which they knew to be the ancient abbey of 
Franehard, to which a peasant had directed them as a 
landmark. There was enough roof to shelter them for 
the night. They heard the bubbHngs of nightingales ; 
and near them were moss-crusted ehns dropping finger- 
tips of branches almost to the ground, white-piUared, 
forming cathedral naves in the forest; white birch, 
pine, and oaks; hills and dales of springing fern. 
Jeanne closed her eyes, thinkiag how near also was 
Paris ; and Bertrand closed his, contented to be any- 
where with her. 

To Bertrand this was the happy spring of his life. 
He felt riding to heaven alone with her, for Pierre was 
moody, and lagged. She had grown so accustomed to 
his tendance that there was communion between them 
without talk. He had her to himself, depending on his 
presence, whUe the English began to feel the coming ter- 
ror. She told him before she told Pierre that her voices 
had warned her she was to be taken prisoner before St. 
John's day. Always reticent in speaking about this 
unseen counsel, she sometimes turned a startled face 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 241 

toward Bertrand as they rode. Her lips parted ; her 
lifted eyes filled with light. He held his breath. 

This twenty-third day of May in Compi^gne his near- 
ness to her was incredibly crowned. Jeanne and Pierre 
and Bertrand took the sacrament in the church of St. 
Jacques at the morning mass, kneeling in the fifth 
small chapel from the entrance, on the right-hand side 
of the church. As they passed into the aisle it hap- 
pened that the bells began to chime. Bertrand and 
Jeanne both lifted their faces. Did he hear a faint 
tone of some unearthly voice— a sweet, still articida- 
tion under the clamor ? 

Jeanne leaned, pallid, against a piUar opposite the 
chapel. The paneled and flower-carven wood, support- 
ing shorter stone pillars near the clerestory, threw her 
face into relief. At once the early worshipers in St. 
Jacques's church drew toward her smiling, and some 
of them secretly touched her. Bertrand had seen her 
stand godmother to many a baby during her cam- 
paigns, and every boy that she held was christened 
Charles, for the king. 

" My friends," spoke out Jeanne, " I am soon to be 
taken and sold into captivity, and then I can never 
again have it in my power to help France and the king. 
Pray for me." 

Bertrand remembered what awe struck through the 
listening faces. But the people of Compifegne could 
not think of such forecasting when the pucelle rode out 
to make her attack on Margny. 

" Did you know," Bertrand inquired, as he helped her 
mount, " this Captain of Compifegne was appointed to 
his post by favor of La Tr6mouille ? " 

16 



242 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 

The maid looked startled at her squire. " No, I did 
not. But for the honor of France he is bound to sup- 
port us in this saUy. En nom D6, if I thought I should 
be taken at this time I would not go out. God grant 
I may perish when I am taken, for it is far easier to 
trust my soul to him than my body to the English. 
But St. Jean's day is a month distant, and we must do 
all we can." 

Poton de XantraiHes rode beside her, and the setting 
sun shone on the left side of their faces as they gal- 
loped over the lowered drawbridge and the rosy Oise, 
where archers were taking to boats to support the at- 
tack from the river. 

The Oise flows southwestward, and Compifegne is on 
the left bank. A fortified bridge then joined it to the 
northeast shore, where defensive works were further 
guarded by a deep f oss. Over this a stationary bridge 
was built, and it seemed the entrance to a high cause- 
way stretching across the marshy meadows. In the 
north, bounding the wet land, was a low range of hiUs. 
Straight ahead, beyond the causeway, could be seen 
the church tower of Margny, a third of a league from 
Compifegne, and there lay the Burgundian camp she 
meant to strike. Beyond that, and at twice the dis- 
tance, was Clairoix, the second Burgundian camp, which 
she meant, by this quick blow at an unexpected hour, 
to cut off from the English camp at Venette, a half- 
league to the west of her route. 

The archers in the boats saluted the pucelle as the 
armor of her troops flashed across the Oise bridge. 
Five hundred strong, the attacking party took at speed 
the long line of the causeway. A little lower and a 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 243 

little ruddier,' the level-lying sun touclied the walls of 
Compifegne and the great forest lying behind them. It 
promised to be a pleasant May twilight, clear and fair. 
The waiting bowmen laughed and talked to one an- 
other, even after the noise of combat reached them 
from Margny. The puceUe would doubtless bring in 
many prisoners. The Duke of Burgundy was himself 
said to be at Clairoix, and a surprised duke would he 
be when he found himself suddenly cut off from his 
allies at Venette. . 

People on the walls of Compifegne could see what the 
archers at the river level could not see. Venette was 
aroused by the clamor in Margny. English troops 
were streaming out to attack the French rear. Gun- 
ners on the walls made haste to train cannon which 
they dared not Are, and the silenced archers in the boats 
made ready shafts which they dare not discharge. For 
back came French and English together, pell-meU, 
crowding the causeway, pushed off into the marsh, a 
fighting, struggling mass, the Burgundians of Margny 
pressing behind; and the Captain of Compi^gne did 
nothing. 

The archers, unable to shoot without wounding their 
friends, gathered refugees into the boats. Alarm-bells 
were rung in the city ; men and women ran to the open 
gates. The puceUe and her body-guard could be seen 
covering the rear of her panic-stricken troops. Now 
she rode back and lashed the pursuers, and now she 
turned to rally her own soldiers. Her brother and her 
squire and De XantraDles, the one captain who never 
left her, pressing around her, fought with desperate 
courage. Shouts and the clang of weapons seemed to 



244 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 

fill that little sunset world. The entrance to the Oise 
bridge was wedged with struggling bodies, and horses 
trampled their own dying riders. The puceEe, when 
she could no longer cover her troops, conspicuous in 
her crimson garment, was seen to make a dash for 
the marshes. Surrounded by Burgundians, she was 
dragged from her plunging horse by her robe, and yeUs 
upon yells of triumph drowned the noise of battle. The 
pucelle was taken ! It would be shouted long after 
nightfall at Clairoix by drunken soldiers, and repeated 
with joyful derision from camp to camp. The witch 
was caught. Trumpets which usually called to arms 
shrieked discordant fanfares over this great prisoner. 
Captains taken with her counted as nothing; they 
might easily ransom themselves. But the witch of the 
Armagnacs, worth more than the ransom of a king, — 
the terror of England,— was at last a captive, dragged 
off to the Burgundian camp. The Duke of Burgundy 
would that very hour send out despatches bearing the 
news to the regent and aU Christendom. 

Men and women of Compifegne ran struggling across 
the Oise bridge, as the mob of soldiers cleared away, 
to fall with any weapon on the rear of their retreating 
foes. "What did English and Burgundians care at that 
moment for Compifegne ? They had done enough that 
great day. The inspired maid was taken ! . 

It was four days afterward that Jeanne turned in 
her saddle to watch that dear town of Compifegne grow 
less in the distance, as she rode among her captors 
northward along the course of the Oise. A score of 
men-at-arms guarded her, and wherever a device ap- 
peared on their housings, it was the rampant two-tailed 



THE DATS OP JEANNE D'AEC 245 

lion of Burgundy. Wooded hills lay along the horizon 
at their left, and at their right, in the low ground, 
flowed the pleasant Oise. 

Jeanne could not speak to her squire, for he was held 
in charge by troopers at the rear ; but she took comfort 
from the thought, " We are prisoners to the Burgun- 
dians, not to the English. While the Lord of Luxem- 
bourg, a vassal of the Duke of Burgundy, holds us to 
ransom, it might be worse with us." 

Pierre and De Xantrailles were yet in the camp at 
Clairois, lightly wounded. She hoped she was not go- 
ing far from them ; but late in the day the cavalcade 
passed Noyon, winding among the path-like streets of 
the ancient gray town. Huge white oxen, yoked by 
the horns in many pairs, were crowded to the walls to 
let them go by. The people of Noyon ran to look at 
the captive puceUe paraded to their sight ; and some 
were sorrowful, while others, having it in mind to stand 
well with Burgundy, shouted as she rode with her head 
bowed. Charlemagne had been crowned in Noyon. 

Bertrand noticed with dull attention the carved 
beam-ends and oaken cross-pieces in house-fronts, and 
the little leaded windows. Beyond Noyon he made a 
landmark of every windmill standing with spread arms 
against the fading sky. Neither Jeanne nor he had 
given their parole not to escape ; but there was small 
hope of escape. Both were mounted on poor horses, 
the refuse of the camp. 

The moist May night closed over half -desolate fields 
as they turned westward into a path lined with no vil- 
lages and no lights. Remote and lonely exQe waited 
behind unknown horizons. It grew chill, and the jaded 



246 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 

horses lagged until they heard the barking of a dog. 
A cluster of houses where no fires burned skirted the 
way. Then a moat showed its livid water on the right 
hand, as the party mounted a short ascent and turned 
into an orchard. 

"What place is this?" inquired Bertrand of his 
guards. 

" This is the tower of Beaulieu." 

" I see no tower." 

But as they drew nearer to a drawbridge he saw its 
low top against the sky. It was a round tower of brick, 
at one end of a long dusky ch&teau. The only lights 
came through two south windows of this tower. The 
cavalcade called impatient curses on the keeper before 
the gates were opened. Bertrand noticed, as they rode 
across the lowered drawbridge, which came down creak- 
ing on its unused chains to meet them, an oblong hole 
in the bricks, about three feet above the water in the 
moat, made noticeable by shine reflected from a wall 
within. 

One old man held up a candle in the brick-paved 
court, where the horses were crowded against one an- 
other, so near was the opposite wall, and he smiled 
without teeth at the liberal abuse he received as he 
locked the gates under the archway again. 

Thought Bertrand, " This does not seem a strong 
place." 

"Now, Messire d'Aulon," said the captain of the 
escort, using the name which Bertrand had given at 
his capture, "you wiU do your last service to the maid, 
and disarm her." 

The servants of the party led away the horses. 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ABC 247 

Jeanne was already in the tower, and her squire fol- 
lowed her. She had been stripped in camp of her 
crimson levite, her courser, and cloth-of-gold saddle- 
housings, but the Lord of Luxembourg, her captor, 
had allowed her to remain in her armor, according to 
her custom among men in the field. 

Many spurs jingled on the paved floor, and as soon 
as the jailer had turned a huge key behind the pris- 
oner, her escort, taking candles, and bidding him bring 
them firing and supper in fewer minutes than it had 
required to open the gates, trooped through another 
door into the chateau. 

Opposite this door in the tower was a high, shallow 
fireplace with an oven beside it. On the pot-hanger 
hung a seething kettle. The lazy blaze and the old 
man's candle showed brown timbers and many cross- 
pieces hung with cobwebs overhead, flooring the con- 
cave of the tower, and roofing the circular walls. A 
table, a bench, a kind of lair which could not be called 
a bed, and some cooking- vessels, were all the furniture. 

Jeanne stood spreading her hands before the blaze 
while Bertrand knelt to unbuckle her mail. Her supple 
body drooped. He did not let himself say, " This is 
the last time I shall take off her harness," but his fin- 
gers fondled every strap. The cleft between her lower 
lip and chin seemed more deeply indented than ever, 
and her eyes were weary. She was recalling the dark 
face and broad-tipped nose of Philip of Burgundy, sur- 
named the Good, whom her king in youth had offended 
with deadly offense. Her usual distrust of him, which 
the magnificent man in black velvet had courteously 
shaken by a few words of pride in her,— being French 



248 THE DATS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

himself, and unable to repress tlieni, — had begun to 
revive. She was prisoner to Burgundy's vassal; but 
would he stand between her and the English? 

The old man, trotting from side to side of the tower, 
paused with his back and hands laden as Bertrand said 
to him sternly : 

" Before you carry fire or food to rough men-at-arms, 
your duty is to the pucelle. For this unmannerly 
treatment of such a prisoner your Lord of Luxem- 
bourg will hold you to account." 

Opening and shutting his mouth with indecision, 
the jailer put down his loads, and dipped broth from 
his kettle, and put wine and bread on the table, taking 
them from a kind of buttery within the ch&teau door. 
He pacified with high-pitched voice impatient calls for 
his service ringing through empty rooms beyond. 

" Where is the pucelle to lodge ? " asked the squire, 
laying down the last piece of her armor. 

The old man beckoned, and trotted with his candle 
down three steps at the left side of the chimney, Jeanne 
and Bertrand following. He thrust the light beside 
an iron-clamped oaken door over three steps at right 
angles to the first descent, showing behind the fire- 
place a vaulted cell, about sis feet high and nine feet 
long and less than three feet wide. They could hear 
the lapping of the moat through that slit in the wall 
which Bertrand had noticed as he crossed the draw- 
bridge, and which let in aU the air a prisoner could 
hope for when the door was shut and locked. The 
floor was stone. The farther end of the cell was con- 
cave. 

" I have lain hard many a time," said Jeanne, laugh- 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 249 

ing, "but never before was I put to sleep in a 
tomb." 

" The pucelle is not to be lodged in this dungeon ? " 

Her keeper nodded. 

" Let me lie here," entreated Bertrand. " There must 
be better places in a ch&teau for a noble maid." 

"You, messire?" chuckled the old man. "Who 
cares to hold you 1 That is simply a matter of ransom 
between you and your captor. But this is the witch 
of the Armagnacs." 

" Have you no fear of her ? " 

The jailer shook his head hardily. "I am a Chris- 
tian man." 

" I have known men who called themselves so, yet 
they durst not move hand or foot when they would 
approach her," whispered the squire at the old man's 
ear as he ascended the steps behind that disturbed ser- 
vitor. 

The men-at-arms were by this time clamoring in 
such wrath that he seized his loads again and ran 
through the chateau rooms. 

" Quick ! " whispered Bertrand, holding the bowl of 
broth to Jeanne. She understood him, and swallowed. 
He put some pieces of bread in his pouch while she 
drank. The jailer's steps had not passed out of hear- 
ing, on resounding floors within, when both prisoners 
were outside, locking the door behind them. 

They turned toward the front of the ch§,teau, for 
there seemed no way except this. So habitually had 
Jeanne let herself be guided by others, siuce the warn- 
ing of capture had followed her, that she took no 
thought but Bertrand's, and stooped as he did, running 



250 THK DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 

under the windows. Damp greenness, gathered on the 
outlines of old bricks, came to their nostrils. A wall 
bounded them on the left, and it turned at right angles 
on a walk which led to a gate at the top of a terrace. 
The gate was fast, but it was low, and both scrambled 
over it. A high balustrade of brick with a coping of 
stone guarded one side of the stairs ; a wall guarded 
the other. 

They were feeling their way downward into the 
moist darkness when Bertrand turned and caught 
Jeanne's hands. He saw the dim guards below, but 
they had also seen him. Shouts of warders, oaths, 
and the rattle of swords leaping from scabbards drove 
them back over the gate. The front of the ch&teau 
flashed with candles, and men dropped from the low 
windows. 

The prisoners, grasped by many hands, faced each 
other in one look before they were separated. All 
Bertrand's patience and faithfulness and self-restraint, 
and his sjonpathy like a discerning god's, the maid 
owned and blessed as she lost them. The dungeon 
closed upon her. She heard no sound but the lapping 
of the moat. 



XV 




i[HE Old "World's reek, a stench left by death 
and ignorance and sndden flight, met a 
party of knights and men-at-arms at the 
entrance of a village. Coney Castle conld 
yet be seen in the wooded world behind them. The 
village was empty, and as silent as the withered bush 
hanging in front of what had been the wine-shop. No 
dog barked at the cavalcade, and the late afternoon 
sun probed desolate houses through the open doors. 
But deserted villages were common in northern France. 
This one was intersected by a road coming from the 
west, and at its junction with the road from Coucy 
the men drew rein and screened themselves by the 
church wall. Two archers dismounted, and went along 
the bending street, stooping to examine marks in the 
dust. 

" English," said one of them, pointing with his bow 
end at many hoof-prints having a triangular shape. 
Horseshoes made in France were round, but the Eng- 
lish horseshoes had a broader base of iron, forming a 
triangle in the center. 

" Here be the tracks left by Messire du Lys's troop," 
251 



252 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

said the other archer, and they went back with their 
information. 

Both captains pushed up their pointed vizors, show- 
ing disturbed faces. " By my baton," swore the broad- 
backed knight, " if the pnceUe's guards have escaped 
us, Poton, La Hire will curse thee as no fit man to lead 
a sortie." 

" What have these shoe-prints to do with the puceUe's 
guards ? " returned De XantraiUes. " Her guards are 
Burgundians, the vassals of Luxembourg. Mounted 
on English-shod coursers they may be ; but by this 
token there is more than one troop to meet, and the 
Chevalier du Lys will find himself hard pressed on the 
north road." 

" What certain information have you that the pu- 
ceUe is to be removed from Beaulieu tower at this 
time?" 

" It is not a far cry from Beaulieu to Coucy. The 
place hath been watched for me nearly three months, 
and I know that Luxembourg is about to carry her to 
his ch&teau of Beaurevoir in the north. It hath a 
strong high tower. If you had come to my help sooner 
we might have broken into Beaulieu." 

" Come to thy help sooner ? Had not La Hire enough 
to do to hold his own town of Louviers, in the very 
teeth of Rouen, where the English have their strong- 
hold?" 

" And not a coin didst thou send to my ransom," 
continued De Xantrailles, his wrath gathering. " By 
hardship did I get free, for I never made myself rich 
with pillage, and the country is destroyed, as thou dost 
see, around Coucy. The pueelle's ransom I could not 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ABC 2B3 

pay, but I sent a messenger at once to the king show- 
ing her state. It was only this month that I was 
able to exchange some prisoners I had taken for her 
brother and her squire ; and they added the churchman, 
Brother Pasquerel, her confessor, who, since he is also 
ordained to priestly offices, my mother hath employed 
at Coucy. By St. Martin, I have been too poor this 
summer to pay for mass and candles." 

" Is La Hire rich himself ? In running this venture 
he hath scarce a coin in his strong box stored against 
need. And Louviers is a slippery holding, while Coucy 
is impregnable, only to be taken by surprise. And 
against aU counsel thou didst leave it open to surprise, 
with so few warders, when we rode away." 

"Since Compifegne I have few warders to leave. 
By St. Martin, I cannot make men-at-arms." 

"And if thou couldst, they were better patterned 
on another than thyseK." 

"I wish I had the making of thee over," said De 
Xantrailles, savagely. "I would not use a damned 
atom of thy old substance." 

La Hire sat stiff, a head and shoulders below his 
friend, and glared at De XantraiUes. 

"What hath La Hire ever seen in Poton de Xan- 
traiUes to love ? " 

"A weU-made man, one able to sit down without 
holding a great lapful of bowels." 

" Well made, thou sayest 1 Can a man caU himself 
well made who knows not himger from the back- 
ache?" 

Having reached this pitch of disagreement, both 
knights laughed in the hollows of their casques. Their 



254 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 

retinues, accustomed to the pair, kept guard, and 
watched around the church wall for the approach of 
the pucelle. 

" Where is the young Chevalier du Lys, that he was 
not left in charge of Coucy ? " 

"Have I not told thee many times I sent him out 
with part of my retinue to watch the northern road 
from Beaulieu, while we take the southern ? " 

" If La Hire had reached Coucy in time, that had 
been better ordered." 

" Who made thee captain over me, fitienne de Vig- 
nolles?" 

" God Almighty," shouted La Hire, standing up in 
his stirrups. " He gave thee length of legs and arms, 
but no head ; for saith he to himself, ' The fool wiU 
lose it. Let us make it a separate member, and call 
it La Hire.'" 

" Fat-witted I was never called before," sneered Po- 
ton de Xantrailles. " It doth cut me to the heart." 

" Whoever doth cut thee to the heart will find no 
blood on his knife," retorted La Hire. "Where is 
Bertrand de Poulengy ? Did you send the squire also 
with the chevalier?" 

" Since I must read you the tale of aU my men, Ber- 
trand de Poulengy hath been my spy on Beaulieu since 
he came to Coucy, and it is he that I now expect to 
give me warning of the maid's approach. He hath a 
good horse under him." 

" That was not iU planned." 

" God be praised," said Poton de XantraiUes, " that 
one device at least was not iU planned." 

" Yea ; amen ; though La Hire dreads winning by 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 255 

this ride a bed that will cool him after the fever in 
Louviers." 

" In God's name, if you were laid low with a fever, 
La Hire, why have you let me accuse you ? " 

"To ease thee, Poton, to ease thee. It was the 
wound taken with Louviers. AU flesh is not the flesh 
of the pucelle, that closes in four or five days." 

" Well, then, a truce to words between us. It put 
me in a rage to ride alone, when we have fought elbow 
to elbow so long." 

" Snt La Hire's tongue if he has offended thee, Poton. 
Thou art the bride and the son of a ruffian, but the 
ruffian loves thee." 

" I am but half a knight without you," acknowledged 
De XantraiUes. " If you had been at Compifegne the 
puceUe had not been taken." 

" La Hire is no amulet to keep off evil ; but what- 
ever befalls at Coucy, his hand is in thine." 

They embraced each other as well as they could in 
armor and on horseback, and swore that this should 
be their first and last tUt with words. Their retinues, 
who had heard many first and last tilts with words, 
smiled idly, and pulled leaves to chew, or struck at 
floating mosquitos. The horses moved restless feet, 
for time was passing ; and the sun shone horizontally 
across the village, throwing longer shadows with the 
stone houses on unplanted fields. 

Its light dazzled the men's eyes, and they drew their 
lids together, watching through slits for the cavalcade 
on which they intended to pounce. Some of them had 
ridden with their masters to Rheims, and they remem- 
bered the pucelle's compassion on the French prisoners 



256 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

at Troyes. She would not permit the English garri- 
son to carry them away. So intently had the waiting 
troops fixed their minds on the west that clashing arms 
and a whirlwind of pursuit through the crooked north- 
ern street took them unawares. 

The Chevalier du Lys came into sight, fighting and 
flying with a handful of men before a full retinue of 
English. La Hire saw with rage that there was a con- 
certed ambush ; for behind, on the Coucy road, gal- 
loped another company of English. 

It was the evening-time when maids drove in their 
geese and peasants with laden panniers appeared from 
the fields. This untenanted vUlage, this graveyard of 
the people, was filled with a brief resurrection ; but it 
was the life of war— battle-cries, the scream of slaugh- 
tered horses, the encounter, ax to ax, sword to sword, 
club against club. Coucy had been taken by surprise, 
and the French were surrounded. At dusk victors and 
prisoners, all who were not left to increase the breath 
of pestilence among empty stone houses, moved up the 
ascent to Coucy Castle. An English warder raised the 
portcullis and let down the drawbridge. 

So sudden and ruinous had been the result of this 
sortie that Pierre beheld the facts around him with 
slow receptiveness, a peasant's inability to compass the 
unusual returning upon him. He saw La Hire and De 
Xantrailles led to the dungeons— Jeanne's two friends 
—the only friends of all her thousands who had made 
any attempt to rescue her. And he heard De Xan- 
traiHes's mother weeping aloud among her women. 
And Coucy, the great seat of the Duke of Orleans, 
vaster and more beautiful than any other feudal hold 



THE DAYS 03? JEANNE D'AEC 267 

in the dismembered kingdom, full of sucli gathered 
art in marble and paintings as comforted men who 
had little to live for, a palace suited with everything 
known as luxury, a fortress proof against assault, had 
fallen into the hands of the English. 

Pierre's captors began to strip off his armor in the 
court. There were many of them, talking English and 
Franco-Norman, and the hubbub calmed him. They 
seemed to have many prisoners, and to have swept 
much country in every direction around Coucy. Free 
companions were among these regular troops ; he saw 
faces scowling at him that he traced slowly back to 
Lagny-sur-Marne, where Jeanne had dealt with Eng- 
lish marauders. 

He stood with the great round tower behind him, and 
was glad of the open night sky and cool August night 
air. The underground dungeons at Coucy were deep. 
Yet torches continued to spin about the court, and he 
was guarded, and not housed as the knights had been. 
A hand gentler than the hands that had stripped him 
touched his arm, and there stood Brother Pasquerel, 
fixing dark eyes of pity on him. 

" "We have added prisoners to the English instead 
of taking any from them. Brother Pasquerel," said 
the chevalier. His desperate laugh made the monk 
sadder. " What wiU become of my sister now ? " 

" Think now of thine own salvation, my son. The 
hour has come." 

" What do they intend to do with me ? " 

Pierre felt the embarrassment of not being able to 
take the churchman seriously. He said to himself, 
" I am to die " ; but that seemed to matter very little. 

17 



258 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'ABC 

He knew notliiag of death, though he faced it every 
day ; but that it had arrived gave the moment a sting- 
ing novelty, and nothing more. 

" The free companions in this troop are permitted 
to take revenge on you for the man who was turned 
over to justice at Lagny-sur-Marne," said the monk. 

" Do you understand their words, Brother Pasque- 
rel?" 

" I understand their intentions. But they brought 
in an illustrious prisoner, who now waits in the chapel 
for ransom, and he knows their tongue and has told 
me what they say. The Archbishop of Rheims, jour- 
neying from Bourges to his own diocese, hath been 
molested by these lawless companions." 

" The Archbishop of Rheims," said Pierre, " wUl find 
ransom an easy matter to arrange with his friends the 
English. If I were brother to Messire La Tr6mouille 
my head would be fast enough on my shoulders." 

A firm-set head it looked, his undergarment being 
stripped to the waist, showing the round neck and 
young pink brawn of the torso. 

" You confessed to me this morning, my son," said 
Brother Pasquerel, as Pierre's elbows were grasped by 
his executioners; and the young man had a solemn 
sense of prayers in his ears as he walked across the 
court. At the foot of a flight of stone steps leading 
from one of the towers was a stone block which the 
knights of Coucy had used in mounting their coursers. 
Beside it stood the free companion who was to act as 
headsman, his sleeves turned well back, and a ferocious 
readiness in his face. His mighty battle-ax would 
have beheaded a bull. 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARO 259 

Pierre looked up at the filmy sky and all around 
Mm, feeling that he had neglected giving to the world 
aU the attention it deserved. This was death— this 
coming withdrawal from things. He felt already far 
away, but neither afraid nor regretful. He thought 
of Jeanne, and of one other, and that reminded him 
of saying a prayer, which he whispered, his young 
features placid as marble, having its fine heroic grain. 
Brother Pasquerel had absolved many a dying man in 
the pueelle's first campaign, and in her last, to which 
he had followed her from Tours. But absolving the 
dying was an easy religious task compared with seeing 
the life struck brutally out of this young chevalier 
whom he loved. He had been from man to man, plead- 
ing against the slaughter with imploring gestures,— 
forthe language of the victors he could not speak,— and 
they pushed him out of their way. The Archbishop 
of Rheims had taken sanctuary, with his frightened 
retinue, in the chapel, and Brother Pasquerel had 
despairingly asked his intercession, receiving an im- 
patient reply from a prisoner who felt little interest in 
the pucelle or her relations. 

" The puceUe hath been taken in her stubborn pride," 
said the archbishop. " She would not listen to counsel, 
and it is a just judgment that hath fallen upon her. As 
for this chevalier, I have no power to help him, being 
hindered on mine own journey, with all these poor 
people. If Poton de Xantrailles had guarded his own, 
and left the pucelle and her family to their devices, 
he could have given me better welcome in Coucy." 

Torches showed the intent and savage faces of their 
bearers gathered around the stone horse-block. Pierre 



260 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

was forced to his knees. His arms were tied behind 
his back, and on his naked breast from armpit to nipple 
was ridged a clean red scar. The headsman spat upon 
both pahns with a zest of anticipation, and Pierre 
heard the friar's shaking voice, like a distant humming 
of bees, as it went on with its office. He looked at 
the stone, and thought he would stretch his neck well 
across the hoUow worn by feet. And then he felt his 
head seized by arms, and squeezed against the yield- 
ing bosom of a woman, and her draperies around his 
naked shoulders and over him. Thus shut in and 
stifled by heavenly odors like linden flowers, he could 
hear nothing but her heart and the rush of her breath. 

His own pulses boomed. Oh, this was dying— to 
have all he desired in life encompassing him as his 
head was about to drop ! Though Pierre knew his 
state was fixed, he laughed under Madeleine Power's 
cloak, exulting over the English, and La TremouiUe, 
and the Archbishop of Rheims. It is better to die in 
the full flower of Joy and effort than to linger even a 
little late. 

The headsman rested his ax on the stone, for he saw 
there would be a controversy with this woman ; and 
the Archbishop of Rheims, in wrath, pushed through 
the circle to reach his niece. If these favored prison- 
ers had been shut in a tower before the execution 
began, much trouble would have been saved. Yet the 
new Captain of Coucy, and all his men, admired her, 
standing her ground in a whii-lpool of three languages. 
For every man in the fortress had somewhere a woman 
in whose arms he secretly longed, yet scarcely hoped, 
to lay his head in his last hour. Ravaging and killing 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC 261 

was their trade ; yet a woman might have her way 
with them, as it had been since the creation, and par- 
ticularly since Mary the Virgin had been lifted like a 
lily over Christendom. 

"This man is my betrothed husband," declared 
Madeleine in English. "I claim his life." 

" Shame upon you ! " spoke her uncle the archbishop 
at her ear. 

" Let her prove it ! " shouted some of the torch- 
bearers, accustomed in their own country to the en- 
croachments of monastic brethren on the offices of 
priests. " Here is the friar— let him marry them." 

" Hold your base tongues," said the new Captain of 
Coucy. " This demoiselle is niece to his lordship of 
Eheims, and to the little king's chancellor. She is 
not to be wedded for a show to men-at-arms." 

" Off with his head, then ! There be plenty of better 
men to comfort the demoiselle." 

" He goes to the dungeon for ransom," decided the 
captain. " A brother of the puceUe, and nephew of 
the chancellor to the little King of Bourges, should 
bring good ransom." 

" Franquet d' Arras was handed over by the pueelle 
to be beheaded at Lagny," was grumbled xmder the 
smoky glare of torches. 

" Stand forth, you free riders who are not satisfied 
with the government of Coucy," cried the captain, 
wheeling in his place. " By St. G-eorge, there be cells 
enough under this rock for all of you ! To the dim- 
geon with this man, and with every free rider that 
hath aught to say further about Franquet d' Arras." 

Pierre's arms were released. He stood up dazzled in 



262 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ABC 

the torcli-liglit, and took Madeleine openly into them ; 
and the archbishop withdrew from the court, leaving 
her to her own devices. It had not been at his desire 
that this half-Scot was thrust on him for discipline. 
He sent her frightened waiting-woman after her— a 
middle-aged maid, who walked close to the black skirts 
of Brother Pasquerel. 

Chinon was like a large inclosed garden ; but Coucy 
was a perfect feudal castle, with central court and 
massive ancient round towers. The prisoner and 
Madeleine followed the jailer and his torch down a 
winding stone staircase. So close were the circular 
descending walls that Brother Pasquerel and the at- 
tendant and a warder following them found the dan- 
gerous stone footing scarcely wide enough for one ; 
but they were not borne up by angels. Pierre and 
Madeleine walked side by side, and his naked guard- 
ing arm grazed the rock. He thought of Bertrand, 
free, outside of Coucy, and felt sorry for poor Bertrand. 

They reached the first underground floor before they 
remembered that they were forgetting to talk, and 
this separation might last for years. 

" Come on," urged the keeper, waiting below, and 
lifting his flambeau in the darkness. " We go down 
to the prisons beneath." 

" Oh ! " said Pierre and Madeleine, both drawing a 
breath of relief. There would be another flight of 
heavenly stairs, though the dungeon door waited like 
the grave at its foot. At this stage of their journey 
Madeleine put her arm around Pierre. She slipped 
into his hand and closed his fingers upon what had 
now become their love-token, the small purse of coin, 
the price of Jacques d' Arc's horse in Tours. France 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 263 

was an impoverished country, yet hoarded money, an 
nnspent treasure, thus passed from hand to hand. 
The germ of home went hid therein. Pierre forecast, 
with the happy certainty which brought good things 
to him, all the future to grow out of that seed. He 
saw the fair white-towered ch§,teau he afterward built 
in Orleans, and the worship there given to this woman, 
his wife, and to his mother, the mother of the pucelle. 
For the fii'st time he thought of Jehannette without a 
rush of anguish. 

" At Bourges I could not see you," said Pierre, im- 
plying how much better it had befallen him at Coucy. 

" At Bourges I began to think of you instead of my 
father," revealed Madeleiue. 

Then he remembered there was such a person as 
Louis de Coutes, and inquired, as if such a tie would 
be of trivial importance compared with this exag- 
gerated moment: 

" They did not celebrate your marriage after you 
left court?" 

"No," answered Madeleine, also slighting the sub- 
ject ; and she added in simple explanation : 

" I will never have any husband but you." 

" I will never have any wife but you." 

" Here is your ceU, messire," spoke the jailer below. 

Pierre and Madeleine clung together, and kissed 
each other with their first kiss at parting. The gar- 
ments which had been stripped from Pierre were tossed 
into the dungeon by his keeper. Not a glint of day- 
light would ever penetrate to this depth under Coucy. 
Once more, and yet once more, they kissed each other, 
and he went smiling alone to the chain whiqh his 
jailer clanked beside the wall. 



XVI 




ilHE lethargy which fell on France during 
the year Jeanne d'Arc lay in prison was 
like the suUenness of a beast that has been 
goaded to its last effort. The momentum 
she had given to war being withdrawn, the struggle 
ceased. Yet at that very time the tide turned at Or- 
leans was running out toward Britain, carrying the 
invaders with it. 

From Beaurevoir, along northern provinces to the 
sea, her journey of captivity had been watched with 
tears. When she descended the coast, and Rouen 
Castle inclosed her, the English held her by purchase 
from the Burgundians. And France slept on nearly 
a quarter of a century before rousing to demand what 
had been done, in the name of law, with its maid at 
the end of that year's imprisonment. 

Other nations took knowledge that a puceUe— " of 
such high chivalry," says a chronicler, " that there was 
no knight in Christendom whose fame overshadowed 
hers "—was on trial among her enemies ; that she was 
put ^u a cage in the tower of Rouen Castle, chained 

264 



THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'ARC 265 

"witli three chains, lier feet manacled to a log of wood 
at night, and common soldiers occupied the room with 
a maid who had veiled the life of her body from man ; 
that in Eouen, the real capital of English France, it 
was believed the English would never have any suc- 
cess in arms while she lived. 

So low had war-ridden and dismembered France 
sunk that not only was French money paid by the 
English purchasers of the pueeUe, but French men 
were f oujad, in a corner of the realm, willing to condemn 
her for the English. Pierre Cauchon, the Count-Bishop 
of Beauvais, who had resented some horse-dealings of 
her household, and all of the power so young a crea- 
ture had acquired over armies, made himself her judge, 
because she was taken in his diocese, and allowed her 
no covmsel for defense. If the king had moved in her 
favor he might have had her tried at Rome, or B^e, 
where a religious conference was then in progress. 
She was accused of iatendiug to settle the claims of 
the three quarreling popes. 

Only one lawyer of Paris had the courage to declare 
her trial illegal from beginniag to end, and he was 
obliged to leave Rouen in haste, and betake himself to 
a place where he would be safer. 

The Inquisition and the University of Paris were 
ordered to appear in the case against her; but not 
even a priest was permitted to speak for her. 

When Jeanne was at Beaurevoir, there was a tale 
told that she fell from the high tower, and was taken 
up for dead, in her frenzied attempt to escape and go 
back to the help of Compifegne. But it is not recorded 
that Orleans or Compi^gne, or any other town, of- 



266 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 

f ered anything but processions and prayers for lier 
release. 

The Archbishop of Rheims issued from his part of 
the realm a comforting letter to his flock, assuring 
them that the maid had been abandoned as an instru- 
ment of heaven, but they might count on the shepherd 
boy from the mountains. 

In Bourges and Sully the winter was merry with 
cards and lute-playing. There the maid, when any 
one thought of her, was blamed for leaving court and 
throwing herself into danger. Perhaps Queen Yo- 
lande, and of a certainty Agnes Sorel, moved for her 
ransom. But meanness bred of long poverty held 
back, and the English neither held back nor hesitated 
to tax France for the money. 

La Hire and De Xantrailles and her brother were in 
prison. But where were the young Due d'Alengon, 
the Bastard of Orleans, and all those fair captains who 
had followed her banner to victory ? 

Seventy accusations, finally reduced to twelve Latin 
articles, were brought against the prisoner, chief of 
which were wearing man's clothes, leading troops to 
battle, pretending to have heavenly voices, blasphemy, 
and witchcraft. Only six public sessions were held, 
but the trial with closed doors dragged daily from 
February until nearly the end of May. An emaciated, 
fetter- worn maid, not yet nineteen years old, tormented 
by endless cunning questions, was diiven to recite 
such matters as her secret prayer before the court: 
" Very tender God, in honor of your holy passion, I 
pray you, if you love me, that you wUl reveal to me 
how I ought to answer these churchmen, I know well) 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 267 

as to this habit, the commandment why I took it, but 
I do not know in what manner I ought to leave it oif . 
Be pleased, therefore, to teach me." 

Or she was taunted about those voices of whom she 
had spoken only when necessary in her life. Or she 
was lured to confess sorcery in her victories, and an- 
swered indignantly : " En nom I>6, 1 did nothing but 
teU the men to go in boldly, and I went in myself ; 
and I think it would be a good thing for France if I 
did now as I did before. Why do not the English 
quit France, and begone into their own country 1 " 

In Domremy the people waited some dreadful event. 
But Choux enjoyed the May sunshiae in front of the 
Widow Davide's wine-shop. He resorted there because 
he had long been forbidden to come nearer her door 
than the boundary of the manure-heap. When Choux 
encroached beyond that stone line, the Widow Davide 
made a sally with water, which usually struck him in 
the face, and gave him his only experience of it. With 
his woolen cap-strings dripping, he slapped his breast, 
and danced before his enemy. 

" Does the Widow Davide think she can drown me ? 
It is not permitted. Come out and drag me again to 
the Meuse, Widow Davide ! " 

" Have a care, or it shall yet be done, thou foul sor- 
cerer," threatened the Widow Davide. "Thou art 
spared for Jehannette d'Arc's sake, because she hath 
taken the tax off Domremy and Greux." 

"Things go better with me than with Jehannette 
d'Arc. Regard me ! I have had a voice above two 
years, and I am not put in prison. I am indeed the 
flower of the Meuse vaUey." 



268 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 

" Shut the door against him, Hamnette," said the 
Widow Davide to her daughter. " He will vaunt him- 
self until poor Jacques d'Arc overhears his words. 
The D'Arcs may be ennobled, and Jehannette may- 
have been a great general riding with the king ; but 
Jacques d'Arc sits a broken-hearted man, and she is a 
prisoner. I see not that the D'Arcs are better off than 
I am. And I bore much scandal from thy roving 
summer, and the child that Aveline Laxart found by 
miracle in the church of Bury-la-C6te and killed by 
over-nursing. Since she hath found one of her own 
this year without miracle, and can rest her tongue con- 
cerning St. Catherine and that other, it may die out of 
memory. But I see not that the D'Arcs, with two 
children laid in English prisons, are better off than I 
am." 

Haumette herself, gazing with chastened black eyes 
along Domremy street, and across the interval to 
Greux, knew as her mother did not that hush of sus- 
pense, that martyr-worship of the maid's family, which 
hung over the villages. The greatness that had flashed 
upon her, and struck her for her sin, and repented the 
blow in one agonized look of memory and tenderness, 
was stamped on Haumette forever. She was not sorry 
about the child in Bury-la-C6te, there being no ma- 
ternity in her. But she repented with many prayers 
every day on her knees that she had been unfit for the 
touch of Jeanne d' Arc's sword. 

In the May weather Mengette had the sense of some 
divine, terrible presence on the hills, as she led her 
geese out early. She looked down at the church, 
thinking fearfully of St. Michael. If Isabel had not 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ABC 269 

needed her so irnicli during the year her lonely life 
wonld have been unendurable. But Jacquemine d'Are 
was now home from Vaueouleurs, and she was careful 
to keep out of his way. He looked at her in church, 
and he walked past her house when his work was done. 
He also sent his mother to reason with Mengette, and 
to prove that troth had never been broken between 
them by their quarrel. Mengette listened to Isabel 
without a word, and avoided Jacquemine. 

He had not fared very well in Vaueouleurs. Ger- 
ardin d'fipinal said the people of Vaueouleurs refused 
him at sight as the brother of the puceHe ; but when 
he adopted the name of Du Lys, they rose up, and cast 
their official over the city waU. He was needed at 
Domremy before he came riding dejectedly home ; for 
Jacques d'Are no longer went afield, or even tended 
the sheep, but sat always with Jeanne's letter, written 
before she went into France, spread open on the 
table. 

Jacquemine had been home since midwinter. Usu- 
ally when Mengette saw him approaching, and in- 
creased the space between them, he turned off, or 
retraced the way he had come. But while she was 
watching her geese nip the short May grass which 
broke through the white hill soil, he drew quite close 
to her, stealthily. Mengette left the gander quaver- 
ing at this intrusion, and walked toward the oak woods, 
pulling wool on her distaff as if she thought only of 
spinning. Jacquemine followed her. She turned on 
the upland, having him at her heels ; and her geese 
waddled in a long line to meet her. 

" Mengette," said Jacquemine, " I intend to come to 



270 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ABC 

speech with you this day, wherever you may set your 



She continued her walk. 

" Gerardin d'fipinal says you do well to be rid of 
me, for I am a poor stunted creature, and you will 
make a better marriage." 

Mengette turned upon him. "That is not the 
truth." 

She saw at arm's-length how wasted he was, and that 
the dear lines of his face, which had been hers since 
his boyhood, were stamped deep by care. 

" I wish I had not gone to the vineyard the day we 
quarreled. I wish I had never gone to Vaucouleurs. 
Domremy is good enough for me. My father is plainly 
dying on account of Jehannette, and Pierre also is 
in prison. My brother Jean is settled at Vauthon. 
Whether my name be D'Arc or Du Lys, whether I be 
noble or simple, I have these old people to feed ; and 
you have Choux. I must take my father's place, and 
tend the fields and vineyards." 

All the little jealousies of Jacquemine's life were 
swallowed up in fraternal love and anguish, and a sob 
almost rent his slight body. 

" Oh, Jehannette ! Oh, Pierrelo ! " 

Mengette dropped her distaff, and wept upon her 
own hands. 

" But Choux," said Jacquemiue, still sobbing, " will 
live forever. My mother counsels that we marry at 
once, without waiting for him to die. We can take 
care of him together. If your mind be not fixed on 
making a better marriage, in God's name put me off 
no longer." 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC 271 

" My mind was never turned to marriage witli any- 
other man, Jacquemine d'Are." 

He picked up her distaff, and she took it, drawing 
out a thread, and brightening over the accustomed 
labor. Long talk and much spinning, following the 
geese through the grass, seeing their own peaceful 
world lying at their feet— these were the homely, sweet 
comforts which would never come to a man on another 
hillside at the opposite corner of Prance. 

Moist lush hiUs, holding Rouen in their lap, sloped 
skyward, though where the soil cropped out it was 
wldte like the soil of the Meuse valley. The Seiae, 
fuU of wooded islands, flowed at their feet. A little 
later, cowslips and poppies would be showing through 
the green— thousands of lustrous-petaled cups massed 
in smears of yellow and crimson. 

The ocean tide came up to Rouen. Bertrand de 
Poulengy watched the morning glint upon the river 
at intervals ; but his mind was fixed within the walls, 
where the life of the city was spread below him, di- 
minished only by distance. His horse grazed behind 
him on the heights which roUed toward Bonseeours 
chapel. He wore no plate-armor, and his lean body 
shrunk from his hose and leather cuirass and short 
tunic of chain mail. On his knees he had spread out a 
piece of the linen banner Jeanne d'Arc carried through 
aU her battles. An archer had cut it up at Oompi^gne, 
and Bertrand's own captor the more willingly divided 
his fragment with his prisoner because he half feared 
the magic of the thing. 

Bertrand traced over and over the city walls around 
which he had skirted helplessly. The gray pinnacled 



272 THE DAYS OF JEANNE lyAEC 

mass of Rouen Castle was grim even in May-time. 
Bedford was lord of that castle, though "Warwick was 
Captain of Rouen. Broad light upon hills and long 
Seine valley showed one of the fairest parts of Nor- 
mandy. For here the peasant was guarded at his labor, 
Louviers, still held by La Hire's garrison, being the 
only uneonquered town near by. 

He noticed a beU tolling in Rouen, and the black- 
ness made by congregated people, even when their 
raiment or armor is bright, showed in one quarter of 
the city near him. It was not very far from the cas- 
tle's grayness that they were swarming together, and 
after a while a yellow glare struggled up in the midst 
of them. Wavering and lofty rose a pillar of smoke. 

Bertrand de Poulengy stood up with his arms 
stretched behind him, the wrists back to back. He 
knew Jeanne d'Arc had not been condemned to perish 
at the stake. All the world knew she was a prisoner 
in Rouen Castle yet undergoing trial. But who was 
chained to the iron stake in the market-place below 
liim? 

Bertrand began to feel the faintness of excessive 
heat, and to breathe the quivering air which whirled 
its white anguish around him. He felt his clothing 
scorch, and the shame of its cracking upon him, and 
leaving him naked to cruel eyes. 

" Water ! " he whispered — " holy water ! " 

And then the flames rose around him, and he was 
alone in this red, stifling death, sinking in coals and 
hot plaster as fagots crumbled, breathing flame, his 
flesh running in liquid agony, his bones warping. 

"Jesus ! " he gasped— "Jesus ! " 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 273 

And then he felt himself drawn slowly upward ; he 
heard music, he smelled a thousand sweet odors, as 
numbness passed to gladness, the music became half- 
distinct words, and he laughed in exultation : 

"The voices!" 

Light as air, he shot aloft from the earth, and turned 
his head to see, shooting up with the same impulse 
from the smoke in Rouen, a dove. He forgot his own 
flight, and hung watching it. Without flutter of wings 
or swerve of body, it rose and rose, and was gone in 
the dazzle. SinMng, he watched in a kind of trance 
for that dove to reappear, remembering skylarks on the 
Vosges hills, and forgetting that he had ever suffered. 

Mists gathered from the void, and set a lower sky 
betwixt the dove and him. The emotions which come 
like winds from we know not what hollows of space 
to play upon us— poor, helpless stringed instruments 
of flesh and spirit— played on him, and made eternity 
around him. Bertrand lay on the hill overlooking 
Rouen until late afternoon. 

The rain with sudden little whip-lashes cut him, and 
water ran in minute tricklings around him ; the sun 
broke out ; and the smoke, curved and driven into fan- 
tastic shapes by the wet air, again rose straight from 
Rouen, thinning to airy blueness. He was in peace, 
as in some divine ether. Sometimes the breathing and 
low grinding of his courser, the companion of many a 
long journey on the earth, intruded near by. But the 
horse was not insistent, like a man who stood over 
him, heavy shod in the herbage, shaking him, and 
saying: 

" Bertrand ! Bertrand de Poulengy ! " 



274 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 

He looked at the man with slow interest. 

"Is it thou, Bertrand? There is little left of thy 
face except the bones and blue eyes." 

" D'Aulon, have you died also ? " 

" What aUs thee, lad ? Has prison made a ghost of 
me?" 

" I think I dreamed." The young squire sat up, 
and the old squire sat on the ground beside him. 

The air was sweet after rain, and aU scent of smoke 
was gone. With the instinct of adjusting himself to 
what was present, Bertrand came forward in his eyes, 
and examined his old companion. 

" Where have you been, D'Aulon ? " 

" In Rouen prison this twelvemonth past." 

" Then you saw her. How does she fare ? " 

" Well, I trust in God," answered the old squire. 

" But who brought you out of Kouen prison ? " 

" The puceUe's ransom money that she sent from 
Bourges a year ago." 

" Yes ; she sold aU. her nags. She ransomed you, 
but no one ransoms her. D'Aulon, did they burn a 
prisoner in Rouen to-day ? " 

" I heard so." 

"Was it a man or a woman?" 

" It was a woman, lad." 

Bertrand looked down, and twisted his fingers in the 
grass. 

" Doubtless it was some poor old woman." 

The other squire leaned forward, sheltering his face 
with both hands. " No ; she was young." 

" We are used to war, you and I, D'Aulon. Never 
mind the woman they burned, but tell me about 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 275 

tlie pucelle. Does she tliink we have all forgotten 
her?" 

" Would a poor squire be allowed any speech with 
the pucelle, lad ? " 

" No— no. I never have learned, ia all my service, 
how far beneath her I am." 

" Where have you been, Bertrand, this twelvemonth 
past?" 

" All over the northern provinces, trying to coUeet 
robbers to attack Rouen, since there are no longer any 
soldiers in France. You say theiy burned a woman 
to-day. But she was not the age of the pucelle ? " 

" About the age of the pucelle," answered the old 
sqidre ; and he broke into groans and tears, bending 
forward upon his knees, and weeping aloud. 

Bertrand made no noise but an audible swallowing, 
as if struggling for breath in the midst of smoke. He 
waited a long time for the other to be done wailing. 

" They burned a young maid alive— a young maid 
about the age of the pucelle," he resumed. " Did you 
see it done, D' Anion ? " 

" No, I did not see it. I could not see a thing like 
that done ; but the streets were full of weeping women, 
and weeping men, too, as I came out of the prison. 
Her name was on every side." 

" Do not speak her name," said Bertrand, sharply. 
" Did this young maid suffer long? " 

" I thiuk not very long, though the pile was pur- 
posely buUt so high that the executioner could not reach 
her to shorten her suffering. She had a cross brought 
from the nearest church and held up where she could 
see it ; and she called out for holy water." 



276 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 

D'Aulon still hid Ms face in his hands. 

" The priest stayed with her untn he was in danger 
of burning also. Then she made him come down off 
the pile. It was afterward that she called for water. 
And the people say she also cried alond the name of 
Jesus. No ; it was not very long that the blessed maid 
was forced to suffer ; for her head soon fell upon her 
breast. The flames took wonderful shapes as of wings, 
and there were men near who heard her speak of 
something else." 

"What was it?" 

D'Aulon looked aside at the yoimg squire, and whis- 
pered : " She spoke of voices. And a soldier fell in a 
fit : he saw a dove rise from the fire." 

Both squires sat like stone, the younger one with 
an unwinking gaze fixed on Rouen. When the sun 
was gone he said, without turning his head : 

" D'Aulon, I took your name while you were in 
prison. Whatever I did as her squire was done in 
your name." 

" Why did you take my name ? " 

" God knows. It was my whim. She praised yon 
once. I give it back to you with my horse. Take my 
horse, and ride to Louviers. You will find friends in 
Louviers." 

"By St. Martin, I will not take the courser from 
under you, and leave you here alone in sight of this 
cursed city." 

" D'Aulon, I never loved you. Would I give yon 
my horse if I needed it ? Respect a man's vows, and 
begone. When I come to Louviers you may give me 
my horse again." 



THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 277 

" But you are too weak to walk." 

" I have had the pestilence, but I have strength to 
walk as far as I am to go." 

"Let me put you on the courser, and fare beside 
you." 

" Take him, or another may seize his bridle with less 
right." 

The shadows would overtake D'Aulon on his peril- 
ous ride. When he was gone, the young squire made 
haste down to the Seine, and waited there until a great 
Norman horse came out of the city gates, drawing a 
cart. A haggard man walked beside the cart, and he 
turned, and carefully backed his horse near the water. 
Iridescent brine and the reflected rosiness of sunset 
made pools of fire-opal in the Seine. The tide was up. 
When it ran out it would carry drenched refuse of a 
funeral pUe— plaster in which the stake had been fixed, 
ashes, charred bone, and one great, darkly crimson 
clot Hke a ruby. 

" Her heart, it w ^i^ full of blood it would not 
burn," muttered the mai^ beside the cart ; and looking 
across his load, he saw a pinched, blue-eyed face at the 
other wheel. The Norman peasant took off his cap to 
his superior. 

" Are you the executioner of Rouen ? " 

" Yes, messire." 

"Did you burn a woman there to-day?" 

"Yes, messire." 

" For what was she condemned ? " 

" Sorcery, messire, though there be many say she 
died a martyr, and ten thousand people wept." 

" When was she condemned ? " 



278 THE DAYS OP JBAJ««; D'AKC 

"Early this momirig, messire. God forgive her 
judges." 

Bertrand clung -witli botli lean hands to the spokes 
of the wheel. " What was her name ? " 

" Jeanne d'Arc, messire— that great captain of the 
French called the pncelle." 

Jeanne d'Arc ! —a splash in the Seine, a dissolving 
of ashes, a spread of sinking fragments ! No ! there 
was a mightier presence in that sunset land. It was 
the time of evening when she rode in to her victories. 

Behind the carter's back, and so quietly that his sink- 
ing made no sound, Bertrand let himseLE down into 
the water, to float with her to the sea. He heard the 
rush of troops, the clang of armor, the crash of falling 
walls, and a woman's voice, —a leader's voice, an angel's 
voice,— bell-hke, spreading its tones wave upon wave, 
until they seemed to reach the horizon, to ripple over 
France and around the world : 

" Amys ! Amys ! ayez bon courage ! Sus ! Sus ! Us 
sont tons nostres ! "